The Cochrane Review

A recent Cochrane Review of involuntary outpatient treatment (Kisely & Campbell, 2015) considered the relevant randomized controlled trials (NC and Bellevue studies in the USA; British study) involving at least 12 months of community follow-up. Rating the quality of the evidence to be low to medium grade, the results of the review revealed that overall, compulsory community treatment was no more likely to result in improved use of services, social or mental functioning, or quality of life than usual voluntary outpatient care. However, individuals in receipt of compulsory care were less likely to be the victims of crime, whether violent or non-violent. With the exception of feelings of coercion, compulsory community treatment was not associated with negative outcomes. The review concluded that because of the methodological limitations (limited quality of evidence and relatively small samples) of the existing randomized controlled trials, further research on the effects of different types of compulsory community treatment is warranted.

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