Coercion and Procedural Justice in Psychiatric Care: State of the Science and Implications for Nursing
Galon, Patricia A
Wineman, N Margaret
Archives of psychiatric nursing 2010 Oct; 24(5): 307-16
Coercive treatment regimens have increased in variety and intensity over the past decade and include such options as outpatient commitment (OPC) and mental health courts. The intimate involvement of nurses in coerced treatment situations in both inpatient and outpatient settings necessitates a closer examination of its effects. OPC presumably offers greater flexibility and freedom for consumers than lengthy inpatient stays but also extends the state's control over their lives beyond the institution. Although OPC has been shown to decrease rates of rehospitalization and violence, it also is associated with increased levels of perceived coercion. The relationship of the perception of coercion to treatment outcomes is complex and not clearly understood. The goal of OPC is treatment adherence and ultimately increased quality of life, but research has produced conflicting results in those areas. Numerous episodes of OPC may have a cumulative effect on the perception of coercion and contribute to treatment avoidance. However, there is evidence that the perception of coercion can be mitigated by procedural justice that is demonstrated by fairness, patient inclusion in the process, and benevolence on the part of authority figures. Implications for nursing practice and research concerning coercion, procedural justice, and OPC are discussed.
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