Published online Nov 19, 2019. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v9.i7.99
Peer-review started: May 27, 2019
First decision: August 2, 2019
Revised: August 16, 2019
Accepted: October 14, 2019
Article in press: October 14, 2019
Published online: November 19, 2019
Treatment for offenders with mental disorders is a key concern in public mental health. Provision of adequate psychiatric treatment is important for the offender and their community. An approach used in Japan to address this issue is administrative involuntary hospitalization. Under this scheme, a person at risk for harming themselves or others because of a mental disorder can be involuntarily hospitalized in a designated psychiatric hospital. However, this scheme does not include tracking of these patients after discharge. Although some data for administrative involuntary hospitalizations are available, it remains unclear what happens to these patients after discharge.
To evaluate follow-up of patients under administrative involuntary hospitalization after discharge and obtain data for later comparisons with outcomes.
We used a retrospective design and conducted a national survey of administrative involuntary hospitalizations. Questionnaires were distributed to 939 facilities across Japan. The questionnaire collected data for selected involuntary hospitalization cases in the hospital on June 30, 2010 (census date), and the prognoses of each patient on a specified date in 2011 and 2012. We also asked about the treatment provided to each patient. We stratified patients by prognosis (good or poor), and used logistic regression analysis to examine the relationship between treatment and prognosis.
We received completed questionnaires from 292 facilities (response rate 31.1%); 105 facilities had no relevant patients. Our analysis included data for 394 patients with valid data. Official statistics indicated 1503 patients were under administrative involuntary hospitalization as at June 30, 2012, meaning the capture rate was 27.2%. Approximately a fourth (104/394) at 1 year, and a third (137/294) at 2 years after the census had unknown prognosis. Treatment content included multi-disciplinary team meetings (78.2% of patients), counseling by public workers (59.9%), and discussion with external specialists (32.5%). Overall, 116 patients were categorized as having a good prognosis at 1 year, and 168 had a poor prognosis. At the 2-year point, 102 patients had a good prognosis and 150 had a poor prognosis. “Discussion with external specialists” was positively associated with a good prognosis at both 1 year (P = 0.016) and 2 years (P = 0.036).
We found that facilities in Japan currently have limited ability to track the prognoses of patients who were hospitalized involuntarily. Discussion with external specialists is associated with a good prognosis.
Core tip: In Japan, involuntary hospitalization by the prefectural governor’s order is applied to psychiatric patients with risks for harming themselves or others. A certain amount of them cannot be followed up the practitioners. Good prognosis can be associated with discussion with external specialist before discharge.