Suicide rates among patients subject to Community Treatment Orders in England, 2009-2018

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Research summaries, Specialist community care | 0 comments

Hunt et al, 2021

Community treatment orders (CTOs) enable patients to be treated in the community rather than under detention in hospital. This study aimed to compare suicide rates among patients subject to a CTO with all discharged psychiatric patients and CTO-eligible patients between 2009 and 2018.

We found suicide rates for patients on a CTO at the time of suicide were lower than those for all discharged patients. Suicide rates in patients ever treated under a CTO and in CTO-eligible patients were similar. When examining suicide rates within 12 months of discharge, these were higher in patients ever under a CTO than CTO-eligible patients. However, this difference was reversed for rates after 12 months of discharge, with lower rates in patients on a CTO and higher rates in all discharged patients.

This review concluded that CTOs should remain for the time being, in reduced numbers, but their application criteria should be tightened. CTO utilisation requires a careful balancing of patient safety versus autonomy.

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