Title

Commitment: the consistency of clinicians and the use of legal standards

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Date

2-1989

Document Type

Article

Medical Subject Headings

Commitment of Mentally Ill; Dangerous Behavior; Decision Making; Emergency Services, Psychiatric; Forensic Psychiatry; Hospitalization; Humans; Mental Disorders; *Mentally Ill Persons; United States

Disciplines

Law | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology

Abstract

The reliability and validity of the application of legal criteria for commitment were investigated as part of a larger study. Evaluations of 411 patients by 96 different clinicians showed good interrater reliability for assessment of dangerousness and committability. A strong relationship between ratings of committability and ratings of dangerousness suggests that clinicians were conforming to the logic of the commitment law. Discrepant cases involved patients who desired voluntary admission or whose commitment was completed elsewhere. Results suggest fair application of commitment standards but that two issues of statutory interpretation confused participating clinicians.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Am J Psychiatry. 1989 Feb;146(2):176-81.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID

2912259