The efficacy of involuntary outpatient treatment in Massachusetts

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



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Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Ambulatory Care; Analysis of Variance; Commitment of Mentally Ill; Female; Humans; Length of Stay; Male; Massachusetts; Matched-Pair Analysis; Mental Competency; Mental Disorders; Outcome Assessment (Health Care); Patient Admission; Program Evaluation; Quality of Life; Statistics, Nonparametric


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


One means to address some of the unintended consequences of the shift of treatment for individuals with serious mental illness from hospitals to communities has been involuntary outpatient treatment (IOT). Using Massachusetts data, 19 patients with court orders for IOT were matched to all and to best fits on demographic and clinical variables, and then to individuals with the closest fit on utilization before the IOT date. Outcomes indicated the IOT group had significantly fewer admissions and hospital days after the court order. The full impact of IOT requires more study, particularly directed toward IOT's effects on insight and quality of life.

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Citation: Adm Policy Ment Health. 1998 Jan;25(3):271-85.

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