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NCJ Number: 118885 Find in a Library
Title: Medication Refusal and the Rehospitalized Mentally Ill Inmate
Journal: Hospital and Community Psychiatry  Volume:40  Issue:5  Dated:(May 1989)  Pages:491-496
Author(s): L D Smith
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 6
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Records of 472 inmates committed to the Central New York Psychiatric Center in fiscal year 1982-1983 were studied to examine inmates' hospitalization between September 1977 and April 1984 and reasons for their admission.
Abstract: The 472 subjects accounted for 1,303 commitments to the hospital during the 7-year period and represented patients whose prison sentences had not expired by the end of the study period so that patients with diverse crimes and varying sentence lengths could be studied. Presenting symptoms and behaviors described by referring psychiatrists to document inmates' need for commitment were analyzed. The relation between medication refusal and indicators of hospital utilization during imprisonment was then explored. Analysis of the commitment rationale for inmates revealed that medication refusal, threatened or potential violent behavior toward others, and hallucinations or delusions were the major reasons used to justify admission and readmission. Medication refusal was associated with a greater number of hospitalizations, shorter hospitalizations, diagnoses of paranoid schizophrenia, longer prison sentences, and convictions for more serious felonies. Inmates admitted for medical refusal were also likely to be referred concurrently for threatened or potential violent behavior toward others. The study demonstrates the particularly violent nature of a large proportion of hospitalized mentally ill inmates and the important role of medication refusal in their rehospitalization. 33 references, 1 table.
Main Term(s): Mentally ill inmates
Index Term(s): Mental disorders; New York
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