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The many faces of risk: a qualitative study of risk in outpatient involuntary treatment


Light, E and Robertson, M and Boyce, P and Carney, T and Rosen, A and Cleary, M and Hunt, G and O'Connor, N and Ryan, CJ and Kerridge, J, The many faces of risk: a qualitative study of risk in outpatient involuntary treatment, Psychiatric Services, 66, (6) pp. 649-52. ISSN 1075-2730 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 American Psychiatric Association (APA)

DOI: doi:10.1176/


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to derive a conceptualized model of risk in outpatient involuntary psychiatric treatment that has utility and meaning for stakeholders.

METHODS: Thirty-eight participants-patients, caregivers, clinicians, and legal decision makers-participated in qualitative interviews about their experiences of outpatient involuntary psychiatric treatment. Interview data were analyzed by using a general inductive method.

RESULTS: Six types of risk were identified: actual harm, social adversity, therapeutic outcome or compromised treatment, the system, interpersonal distress, and epistemic issues. There were overlaps between discourses on risk but variation in how different aspects of risk were emphasized by participant groups.

CONCLUSIONS: A comprehensive model of risk contextualized to outpatient involuntary treatment is proposed. It incorporates domains of risk of harm to self or others, risk of social adversity, risk of excess distress, and risk of compromised treatment. This model may have instrumental value in the implementation and the scrutiny of risk-based mental health laws.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:risk, mental health
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Cleary, M (Professor Michelle Cleary)
ID Code:108270
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-04-18
Last Modified:2017-11-03

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