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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 62 (2020) 2, 104 - 113


Regional differences in compulsory treatment in mental health care in the Netherlands during 2013-2017

J. Broer, A.I. Wierdsma, C.L. Mulder

background Compulsory treatment in mental health care has continuously increased for years. Registration of court ordered compulsory psychiatric care is based upon counts of legal authorisations. These counts do not refer to number of individual persons involved.
aim To report the number age-specific prevalence of coercion in psychiatric care, number of persons involved, age distribution and regional differences.
method Analysis of the number of requests for compulsory care and population size according to the age groups for the years 2013-2017. We used direct age standardisation at the level of jurisdiction regions.
results The annual number of unique persons for whom compulsory care was requested was 28% less than the number of requested court orders. The annual increase in compulsory care was 3%. Per specific treatment order the increase during 2013-2017 was 12% for emergency compulsory admissions, 8% for hospital admissions, 10% for extended hospital admissions and 43% for community treatment order.
conclusion The number of persons for whom compulsory mental care is requested increased on average by 3% each year. Greatest increase was observed for age groups 25-44 years and 80 years and older. After age-standardisation substantial differences remain between jurisdiction regions.

keywords court order, compulsory psychiatric admission, community treatment order, individual level, regional differences, standardised rates