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Involuntary hospitalizations in Frankfurt/Main, Germany


The evaluation of local mental health care remains difficult. For this reason systematic development of appropriate services is barely possible.


We examined involuntary hospitalization in the city of Frankfurt/Main with regard to diagnoses, socio-demographic data, complementary psychosocial outpatient care, and circumstances of hospitalization. There are four psychiatric clinics, each serving a catchment area of more than 165.000 inhabitants. These clinics are responsible for all psychiatric in-patient treatments regardless of the admission modus. During a one year period, 677 patients were involuntarily hospitalized. Statistical analyses were performed subsequent to pooling the data.


During a period of one year, 103 out of 100.000 inhabitants of Frankfurt/Main were admitted involuntarily. The rate of involuntary admissions related to all admissions was 10.98 percent. Any complementary psychosocial care was missing in more than 70 percent of patients admitted involuntarily. Only about 10 percent of patients were examined by a physician before reaching the hospital and in disappointing 1.3 percent the municipal mental health service had been consulted prior to involuntarily admission.


Our results show that a systematic improvement of precautionary complementary psychosocial care for risk patients is needed as well as the obligation of psychiatric emergency consultation before involuntary hospitalization.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Grube, M., Kirschenbauer, HJ., Wagner, P. et al. Involuntary hospitalizations in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. BMC Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S118 (2007).

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  • Health Care
  • Mental Health
  • Health Service
  • Mental Health Service
  • Catchment Area