Involuntary medication in psychiatric inpatient treatment

R. Kaltiala-Heino, Maritta Anneli Vaelimaeki, J. Korkeila, C. Tuohimäki, V. Lehtinen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine involuntary medication in psychiatric inpatient treatment. A retrospective chart review of 1543 consecutive admissions of working aged civil patients from well-defined catchment areas to three psychiatric centres were evaluated regarding events of involuntary medication. 8.2% of the admissions included involuntary medication episode(s). Involuntary medication was associated with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, involuntary legal status and having previously been committed. One of the studied centres used less involuntary medication than the other two, even if patients with schizophrenia were over-represented in that centre. Although involuntary medication mainly takes places in the treatment of patients who are conceptualised most ill and perhaps resist treatment most, treatment culture obviously also plays a role. In future, it is important to study the aspects of treatment culture to fully understand the use of involuntary medication in psychiatry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-295
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Involuntary
  • Medication
  • Psychiatric treatment
  • Retrospective study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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