Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 28–46 | Cite as

Front Line Workers’ Attitudes towards Psychiatric Advance Directives

  • Mimi M. KimEmail author
  • Anna M. Scheyett
  • Eric B. Elbogen
  • Richard A. Van Dorn
  • Laura A. McDaniel
  • Marvin S. Swartz
  • Jeffrey W. Swanson
  • Joelle Ferron
Original Paper


Studies have begun to explore provider attitudes’ toward psychiatric advance directives (PADs) and how those attitudes are related to provider characteristics. The study gathered attitudinal data from a sample of 193 social workers serving mentally ill adults. Social workers with pro-healthcare power of attorney (HCPA) attitudes were likely to have prior experience with an HCPA and to believe that involuntary treatment violates the NASW Code of Ethics. Social workers are more favorable of HCPAs than advance instructions. The findings suggest that clinical experiences with PADs may positively impact social worker’s perceptions of the law.


Psychiatric advance directives Health care power of attorney Severe mental illness Psychiatric disorders Treatment compliance/adherence 



This work was supported by the Greenwall and MacArthur Foundations, a National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Traineeship from the NIMH to Drs. Kim and VanDorn and NIMH K02 to Dr. Swanson. The corresponding author was also supported, in part, by the DHHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R24 HS013353) and the NIH National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (P60 MD000239)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mimi M. Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna M. Scheyett
    • 2
  • Eric B. Elbogen
    • 3
  • Richard A. Van Dorn
    • 3
  • Laura A. McDaniel
    • 2
  • Marvin S. Swartz
    • 3
  • Jeffrey W. Swanson
    • 3
  • Joelle Ferron
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Health, Social, and Community ResearchShaw UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Services Effectiveness Research Program in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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