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State involuntary commitment statutes: how can policy reflect patient-centered care

Enriquez, Jennifer (2019) State involuntary commitment statutes: how can policy reflect patient-centered care. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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An estimated 10.4 million adults (18 years or older) in the United States live with a serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI). Individuals with SPMI are at risk of experiencing debilitating symptoms that make them lose touch with reality, which may place themselves or others in danger. Consequently, individuals with SPMI are oftentimes subjected to involuntary commitment, where an individual is adjudicated by a court to complete mental health treatment, against the individual’s will. Studies show that involuntary commitment is associated with a greater likelihood of treatment non-adherence, jail time, suicide attempts, longer hospitalization stays, rehospitalization, and decline in social functioning. However, other studies have found positive outcomes involved patients who were able to engage in their treatment and build a good relationship with providers, despite being involuntarily committed. It is of public health significance to investigate involuntary commitment policies and procedures that override individual liberties, and potentially worsen the quality of life for individuals who already belong to a vulnerable population. Two research questions are addressed in this essay. 1) What are the standard practices and policies at the state level in the United States regarding involuntary evaluation or admission for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis? 2) How can current state practices be altered to align with the patient-centered care model? This essay found that the majority of states have adopted broader statutes, providing states with more authority to compel individuals into mental health treatment. Therefore, efforts to change involuntary commitment laws should incorporate practices that help individuals with SPMI engage in the process. Several examples of how to operationalize patient-centered care in the context of treating individuals who are involuntarily committed are included in the findings.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Enriquez, Jenniferjme53@pitt.edujme53
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTrauth, Jeanettetrauth@pitt.edutrauthUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberBooth, Jaimejmbooth@pitt.edujmboothUNSPECIFIED
Date: 12 June 2019
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 47
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Other ID:
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2019 22:16
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 22:16


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