Year: 2001 Source: Psychiatric Services, v.52, no.3, (March 2001), p.337-341 SIEC No: 20020144

Studies showing the effectiveness of involuntary outpatient commitment in improving treatment compliance, reducing hospital readmission, & reducing episodes of violence among persons with severe psychiatric illness are described. It is argued that such assisted treatment is necessary for persons with severe psychiatric illness who are noncompliant with their medication regimens because many lack awareness of their illnesses because of biologically based cognitive deficits. Outpatient commitment is recommended for any individual with a severe psychiatric disorder who has impaired awareness of his/her illness & is at risk of becoming homeless, incarcerated, or violent or of committing suicide. Eight of the most common objections to outpatient commitment are addressed. (47 refs.)