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Short-term outcome of inpatient psychiatric care—impact of coercion and treatment characteristics



Little is known about the outcome of brief inpatient treatment interventions in routine psychiatric practice. The aim of this article was to study if subjective and assessed outcome of brief psychiatric inpatient care are related to patient characteristics, coercion at admission and during care, and other treatment characteristics.


A total of 233 involuntarily and voluntarily admitted patients were interviewed within 5 days from admission and at discharge or after 3 weeks of care. Outcome was measured as reported by patients and by change in GAF (Global Assessment Scale) scores.


Predictors for a positive subjective outcome were if the patients reported that they had been well treated by the staff and had contact persons at the ward. Predictors for a GAF improvement were a low GAF score at admission and a mood disorder diagnosis.


Subjectively reported outcome and outcome measured by assessing change in level of functioning differed. Coercion was not related to outcome. The way the patient perceived they had been treated by the staff was strongly related to subjective outcome.

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The authors wish to thank all members of the research teams in the participating centres. The study was supported by grants from the County Councils of Kristianstad, Älvsborg, Västmanland, Västerbotten, Örebro and the National Board of Health and Welfare.

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Correspondence to Tuula Wallsten MD.

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Wallsten, T., Kjellin, L. & Lindström, L. Short-term outcome of inpatient psychiatric care—impact of coercion and treatment characteristics. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol 41, 975–980 (2006).

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  • coercion
  • psychiatry
  • inpatient treatments
  • outcome assessment