Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 267–273 | Cite as

Community treatment orders: the experiences of Non-Maori and Maori within mainstream and Maori mental health services

  • Giles Newton-HowesEmail author
  • Cameron J. Lacey
  • Doug Banks
Original Paper



Community treatment orders (CTOs) are sometimes used to coerce patients into treatment on the basis that such treatment is in their best interest. The experiences of Maori, New Zealand’s indigenous ethnic minority are less well known and this paper compares the views of Maori and non-Maori about CTOs.


Patients with experience of CTOs for greater than 6 months participated. Self-report measures were used to identify patients’ views of compulsory treatment. Demographic data, heath service characteristics, the experience of coercion, views of compulsory community treatment, satisfaction with care, social functioning, and psychopathology were assessed.


There were few differences in demographic or clinical characteristics between Maori and non-Maori. There were no differences in the views of Maori compared to non-Maori patients with respect to compulsory community treatment. There were no differences in the views of Maori cared for by mainstream compared to culturally specialist Maori mental health service.


In a well-established system of compulsory treatment, there is no evidence of greater negative impact of CTOs in an indigenous minority population. The opportunity for Maori to self-select between mainstream and specialist Maori mental health services may minimize the negative aspects of compulsory community treatment for Maori.


Community treatment orders Community mental health Ethics Psychiatry and law Maori health 



Assistance with initial data management was provided by Dr. James Stanley, Wellington School of Medicine, Otago University. Development of the initial data collection tools and the methodology was provided by WIT and Te Taiwhenua O Heretaunga. Te Taiwhenua O Heretaunga, assisted with data collection, has reviewed this paper and is happy for it being submitted for publication. Funding for the collection of the data was provided by the Hawke’s Bay Medical Research Fund.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giles Newton-Howes
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Cameron J. Lacey
    • 3
  • Doug Banks
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Psychological MedicineUniversity of Otago, WellingtonWellington SouthNew Zealand
  2. 2.Imperial CollegeLondonUK
  3. 3.Maori Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI) and Department of Psychological MedicineUniversity of OtagoChristchurchNew Zealand
  4. 4.Whatever It Takes TrustHawkes BayNew Zealand

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