Treatment refusal procedures and service utilization: A comparison of involuntarily hospitalized populations

Joseph D. Bloom, Mary H. Williams, Cris Land, Mark C. Hornbrook, Jo Mahler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This article examines treatment refusal in a large group of hospitalized civilly committed patients. Comparison is made between those subjects whose refusal was reviewed by Oregon's administrative procedures for treatment refusal (override group) and those committed patients who more readily accepted treatment and were not evaluated by this procedure. The objective was to examine the override process and to explore potential differences between these groups in their utilization of hospital and community mental health services before and after the index hospitalization. We reviewed hospital charts on all subjects who went through the administrative override procedure and collected state hospital and community mental health services information from the statewide computerized information system on all subjects in the study. Several key differences were found between the groups. The override sample had significantly more women, and these patients spent significantly more time in the Index hospitalization and had had more past hospitalizations. There were no differences between the groups in their utilization of community services before or after the Index hospitalization and no difference in hospitalization rates after the index hospitalization. The conclusion is that the Oregon override procedure is functioning consistently, without undue delay in decision making. More investigation is necessary to determine whether override subjects represent a distinct subpopulation within the larger group of chronically mentally ill patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-357
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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