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Open Access

Relatives' views on involuntary hospital admission in 8 EUNOMIA sites

  • Andrea Fiorillo1,
  • Corrado de Rosa1,
  • Flavia Rossano1,
  • Lorenza Magliano1,
  • Mario Maj1,
  • Thomas Kallert2,
  • Georgi Onchev3,
  • Jiri Raboch4,
  • Anastasia Karastergiou5,
  • Andrzej Kiejna6,
  • Petr Nawka7 and
  • Lars Kjellin8
BMC Psychiatry20077(Suppl 1):S32

Published: 19 December 2007


Mental HealthEuropean CountryMental Health CarePsychiatric PatientEmergency Situation


This study aimed to: a) describe the opinions of relatives of mentally ill patients about treatments and procedures adopted during a psychiatric admission; b) explore differences in the opinions among relatives living in 8 different European countries.


Data have been collected on a sample of relatives of patients involuntarily hospitalized in 8 European countries (Germany, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden) from the EUNOMIA network. Relatives' opinions on treatments and procedures received by their mentally ill relatives during the reference hospitalization's period have been explored by ad-hoc schedules.


Relatives were overall satisfied with treatment provided to patients during the current hospitalization. Significant differences have been detected among the centers as concerns relatives' perceived pressure at patients' admission, satisfaction with treatments provided to hospitalized patients, and opinions about the usefulness of treatments and procedures adopted in emergency situations. In particular, Bulgarian relatives reported the highest levels of pressure at patients' admission, and Italian relatives largely disagreed with the possibility to admit psychiatric patients in asylums (as forbidden in Italy since 1978).


The differences in the relatives' opinions found in this study are likely to be influenced by cultural factors and national mental health policies. These differences are likely to influence mental health care practices in European countries, and should be taken into account in order to develop common European guidelines for psychiatric treatments.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, University of Naples SUN, Naples, Italy
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden, Germany
Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria
Psychiatric Department, 1st Medical School of Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Psychiatric Hospital of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Department of Psychiatry, Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
Psychiatrica nemocnica, Michalovce, Slovakia
Psychatric Research Center, Orebro, Sweden


© Fiorillo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2007

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.