New Dutch Legislation and Preventive Coercive Home Health Care for Excessive Alcohol Consumers

  • Susanne van den Hooff
Original Article


Excessive alcohol consumers are in need for effective and targeted thiamine interventions to prevent the development of Korsakoff’s syndrome. Coercive home health care might be a solution to reach excessive alcohol consumers. In many parts of the world, an expansion is seen of more coercive community practices. Due to new legislation in the Netherlands, preventive coercive home health care is permitted. The objective of this article is twofold. Firstly, to describe this new Dutch legislation and secondly, to explore literature to identify themes that might contribute to less-intrusive coercive interventions at the excessive alcohol consumer’s home. Four articles have been identified which concentrate on experiences regarding coercive home health care. Preventive coercive home health care might benefit from a stable and trusting relationship. For healthcare organizations, this means that they need to pay attention to the health and safety of their employees to prevent outflow.


Preventive treatment Alcoholism Coercion Home health care Legislation Therapeutic relationship 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.


  1. Appelbaum, P. S., & Le Melle, S. (2008). Techniques used by assertive community treatment (ACT) teams to encourage adherence: Patient and staff perceptions. Community Mental Health Journal, 44(6), 459–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arts, K. (2004). Korsakoff’s syndrome. A publication of Korsakoff knowledge centre [Het syndroom van Korsakov. Een uitgave van het Landelijk Platform Korsakov]. Nijmegen: F.E. Mac Donald.Google Scholar
  3. Arts, J. M., Walvoort, S. J. W., & Kessels, R. P. C. (2017). Korsakoff’s syndrome: A critical review. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 13, 2875–2890.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Churchill, R., Owen, G., Singh, S., & Hotopf, M. (2007). International experiences of using community treatment orders. London: Institute of Psychiatry.Google Scholar
  5. Corring, D., O’Reilly, R., & Sommerdyk, S. (2017). A systematic review of the views and experiences of subjects of community treatment orders. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 52, 74–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Diamond, R. J. (1995). Coercion in the community: Issues for mature treatment systems. New Directions for Mental Health Services, 66, 3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. European Commission (2013). Improving health for all EU citizens. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. ISBN 978-92-79-24589-3; doi:
  8. George, M., Manuel, J. I., Gandy-Guedes, M. E., McCray, S., & Negatu, D. (2016). “Sometimes what they think is helpful is not really helpful”: Understanding engagement in the program of assertive community treatment (PACT). Community Mental Health Journal, 52(8), 882–890.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Haber, P., Lintzeris, N., Proude, E., & Lopatko, O. (2009). Quick reference guide to the treatment of alcohol problems: Companion document to the guidelines for the treatment of alcohol problems. Canberra: Prepared for the Australian Government Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, 9.Google Scholar
  10. Hall, W., Farrell, M., & Carter, A. (2014). Compulsory treatment of addiction in the patient’s best interests: More rigorous evaluations are essential. Drug and Alcohol Review, 33(3), 268–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Isenberg-Grzeda, E., Rahane, S., DeRosa, A. P., Ellis, J., & Nicolson, S. E. (2016). Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome in patients with cancer: A systematic review. The Lancet Oncology, 17, e142–e148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. IZZ (2017). High outflow of healthcare personnel in ‘sick organizations’. [Hoge uitstroom zorgmedewerkers bij ‘zieke organisatie’]. Accessed at:
  13. Kisely, S., Campbell, L., & Preston, N. (2005). Compulsory community and involuntary outpatient treatment for patients with severe mental health disorders. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 3, 1e25.Google Scholar
  14. Kjellin, L., & Pelto-Piri, V. (2014). Community treatment orders in a Swedish county-applied as intended? BMC Research Notes, 7(1), 879.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kolb, B., & Whishaw, I. Q. (1985). Fundamentals of human neuropsychology (2th ed.). New York: W.H. Freeman and Company.Google Scholar
  16. Kopelman, M. D., Thomson, A. D., Guerrini, I., & Marshall, E. J. (2009). The Korsakoff syndrome: Clinical aspects, psychology and treatment. Alcohol & Alcoholism, 44, 148–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lacro, J. P., Dunn, L. B., Dolder, C. R., Leckband, S. G., & Jeste, D. V. (2002). Prevalence of and risk factors for medication nonadherence in patients with schizophrenia: A comprehensive review of recent literature. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 63(10), 892–909.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lofthus, A., Westerlund, H., Bjørgen, D., Lindstrøm, J. C., Lauveng, A., Clausen, H., & Heiervang, K. S. (2016). Are users satisfied with assertive community treatment in spite of personal restrictions? Community Mental Health Journal, 52(8), 891–897.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Martin, P. R., Singleton, C. K., & Hiller-Sturmhofel, S. (2003). The role of thiamine deficiency in alcoholic brain disease. Alcohol Research and Health, 27(2), 134–142.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. McCallum, S. L., Mikocka-Walus, A. A., Gaughwin, M. D., Andrews, J. M., & Turnbull, D. A. (2016). ‘I’m a sick person, not a bad person’: Patient experiences of treatments for alcohol use disorders. Health Expectations, 19(4), 828–841.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Munetz, M. R., Galon, P. A., & Frese, F. J. (2003). The ethics of mandatory community treatment. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 31(2), 173–183.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Nace, E. P., Birkmayer, F., Sullivan, M. A., Galanter, M., Fromson, J. A., Frances, R. J., & Tamerin, J. S. (2007). Socially sanctioned coercion mechanisms for addiction treatment. The American Journal on Addictions, 16(1), 15–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Oudman, E., Van der Stigchel, S., Postman, A., Wijnia, J. W., & Nijboer, T. C. W. (2014). A case of chronic Wernicke’s encephalopathy: A neuropsychological study. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 5.
  24. Oudman, E., Wijnia, J. W., Van Dam, M., & Biter, L. U. (2018). Preventing Wernicke encephalopathy after bariatric surgery. Obesity Surgery, 28, 2060–2068.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Priebe, S., Watts, J., Chase, M., & Matanov, A. (2005). Processes of disengagement and engagement in assertive outreach patients: Qualitative study. The British Journal of Psychiatry: the Journal of Mental Science, 187, 438–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pridham, K. M. F., Berntson, A., Simpson, A. I., Law, S. F., Stergiopoulos, V., & Nakhost, A. (2016). Perception of coercion among patients with a psychiatric community treatment order: A literature review. Psychiatric Services, 67(1), 16–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Riley, H., Høyer, G., & Lorem, G. F. (2014). ‘When coercion moves into your home’–a qualitative study of patient experiences with outpatient commitment in Norway. Health & Social Care in the Community, 22(5), 506–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rugkåsa, J., & Burns, T. (2009). Community treatment orders. Psychiatry, 8(2), 493–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rugkåsa, J., Canvin, K., Sinclair, J., Sulman, A., & Burns, T. (2014). Trust, deals and authority: Community mental health professionals’ experiences of influencing reluctant patients. Community Mental Health Journal, 50(8), 886–895.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sechi, G., & Serra, A. (2007). Wernicke’s encephalopathy: New clinical settings and recent advances in diagnosis and management. The Lancet Neurology, 6(5), 442–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Snow, N., & Austin, W. (2009). Community treatment orders: The ethical balancing act in community mental health. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 16(2), 177–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stein, L. I., & Test, M. A. (1980). Alternative to mental hospital treatment: I. conceptual model, treatment program, and clinical evaluation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 37(4), 392–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sullivan, M. A., Birkmayer, F., Boyarsky, B. K., Frances, R. J., Fromson, J. A., Galanter, M., & Suchinsky, R. T. (2008). Uses of coercion in addiction treatment: Clinical aspects. The American Journal on Addictions, 17(1), 36–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Szmukler, G., & Holloway, F. (2000). Mental health law: Discrimination or protection? Maudsley Discussion Paper No. 10. King’s College London, London.Google Scholar
  35. Tam, C., & Law, S. (2007). Best practices: A systematic approach to the management of patients who refuse medications in an assertive community treatment team setting. Psychiatric Services, 58(4), 457–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Thøgersen, M. H., Morthorst, B., & Nordentoft, M. (2010). Perceptions of coercion in the community: A qualitative study of patients in a Danish assertive community treatment team. Psychiatric Quarterly, 81(1), 35–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Thomson, A. D., Marshall, E. J., & Bell, D. (2013). Time to act on the inadequate management of Wernicke’s encephalopathy in the UK. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 48(1), 4–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tschopp, M. K., Berven, N. L., & Chan, F. (2011). Consumer perceptions of assertive community treatment interventions. Community Mental Health Journal, 47(4), 408–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Van den Hooff, S. L., & Goossensen, A. (2015a). Ethical considerations on the value of patient knowledge in long-term care: A qualitative study of patients suffering from Korsakoff’s syndrome. Nursing Ethics, 22(3), 377–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Van den Hooff, S. L., & Goossensen, A. (2015b). Conflicting conceptions of autonomy. Experiences of family carers with involuntary admissions of their relatives. Ethics and Social Welfare, 9(1): 64–81.Google Scholar
  41. Van den Hooff, S. L. (2018). The prevention of Korsakoff’s syndrome by offering involuntary care? [Voorkomen van het syndroom van Korsakov door aanbieden onvrijwillige zorg?]. Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie, 60(4), 250–257.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Van Laar, M. W., & Van Ooyen-Houben M. M. J. (2016). Nationale drug monitor. Jaarbericht 2016, Utrecht/Den Haag: Trimbos-instituut/WODC.Google Scholar
  43. Vijverberg, R., Ferdinand, R., Beekman, A., & van Meijel, B. (2017). The effect of youth assertive community treatment: A systematic PRISMA review. BMC Psychiatry, 17(1), 284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Walvoort, S. J. W., Van der Heijden, P. T., Kessels, R. P. C., & Egger, J. I. M. (2016). Measuring illness insight in patients with alcohol-related cognitive dysfunction using the Q8 questionnaire: A validation study. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 12, 1609–1615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wertheimer, A. (1993). A philosophical examination of coercion for mental health issues. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 11, 239–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. World Health Organization (2018). Global status report on alcohol and health 2018. Geneva: World Health Organization. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.Google Scholar
  47. Wijnia, J. W., van de Wetering, B. J. M., Zwart, E., Nieuwenhuis, K. G. A., & Goossensen, M. (2012). Evolution of Wernicke-Korsakoff’s syndrome in self-neglecting alcoholics: Preliminary results of relation with Wernicke-delirium and diabetes mellitus. The American Journal on Addictions, 21(2), 104–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanne van den Hooff
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Erasmus School of Health Policy & ManagementErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamNetherlands
  2. 2.Faculty of Applied Social Sciences and LawAmsterdam University of Applied SciencesAmsterdamNetherlands

Personalised recommendations