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Justifications for coercive care in child and adolescent psychiatry, a content analysis of medical documentation in Sweden
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.
FPS, Örebro, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.
2016 (English)In: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 16, 66Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Text
Abstract [en]

Background: There has been considerable interest in normative ethics regarding how and when coercive care can be justified. However, only a few empirical studies consider how professionals reason about ethical aspects when assessing the need for coercive care for adults, and even less concerning children and adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine and describe how professionals document their value arguments when considering the need for coercive psychiatric care of young people.

Methods: All 16 clinics that admitted children or adolescents to coercive care during one year in Sweden were included in the study. These clinics had a total of 155 admissions of 142 patients over one year. Qualitative content analysis with a deductive approach was used to find different forms of justification for coercive care that was documented in the medical records, including Care Certificates.

Results: The analysis of medical records revealed two main arguments used to justify coercive care in child and adolescent psychiatry: 1) the protection argument - the patients needed protection, mainly from themselves, and 2) the treatment requirement argument - coercive care was a necessary measure for administering treatment to the patient. Other arguments, namely the caregiver support argument, the clarification argument and the solidarity argument, were used primarily to support the two main arguments. These supportive arguments were mostly used when describing the current situation, not in the explicit argumentation for coercive care. The need for treatment was often only implicitly clarified and the type of care the patient needed was not specified. Few value arguments were used in the decision for coercive care; instead physicians often used their authority to convince others that treatment was necessary.

Conclusions: One clinical implication of the study is that decisions about the use of coercive care should have a much stronger emphasis on ethical aspects. There is a need for an ethical legitimacy founded upon explicit ethical reasoning and after communication with the patient and family, which should be documented together with the decision to use coercive care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2016. Vol. 16, 66
Keyword [en]
Psychiatry, Coercive care, Medical records, Decision making, Values, Ethics, Children, Adolescents, Content analysis, Sweden
National Category
Psychiatry
Research subject
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-49362DOI: 10.1186/s12913-016-1310-0ISI: 000370406400001PubMedID: 26893126Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84959529829OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-49362DiVA: diva2:912455
Note

Funding Agencies:

Region Örebro County, Sweden

Swedish research programme "Ethics in Health Care"

Available from: 2016-03-16 Created: 2016-03-16 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Pelto-Piri, VeikkoKjellin, LarsEngström, Ingemar
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Citation style
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