Objective: To examine the impact of coercive interventions (CI) on patients’ evaluations of psychiatric hospitals as adversaries versus allies.

Methods: Self-constructed interviews were conducted relating to quantitative and subjective aspects of coercion and the attitude towards psychiatry of 79 patients with psychotic and bipolar disorders. The Coercion Experience Scale (CES) and the Admission Experience Survey (AES) were used to establish the subjective impact of CI. Instruments measuring psychopathological symptoms and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) were applied alongside the Schedule for the Assessment of Illness (SAI) and the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale (BCIS). Using a logistic regression approach, considered influencing factors such as number, type and patients’ subjective experiences of CI, cognitive and clinical insight, psychopathological symptoms and patients’ global perceptions of their hospitalisation were analysed for their predictive value of patients’ attitudes towards psychiatry.

Results: Binary logistic regression revealed that the subjective experience of CI and the perception of fairness and effectiveness during the treatment process predict patients’ attitudes towards psychiatry to a greater extent than symptom-related measures or the quantity of CI. Patients presenting a higher degree of self-reflectiveness perceive psychiatric institutions more likely as allies.

Conclusions: The manner in which coercion is subjectively experienced has direct influence on patients’ perceptions of psychiatry.

Juliane Mielau, Jasmin Altunbay, Anja Lehmann, Felix Bermpohl, Andreas Heinz & Christiane Montag
International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, 05 Oct 2017