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Relatives' views on involuntary hospital admission in 8 EUNOMIA sites


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.

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Correspondence to Andrea Fiorillo.

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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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Fiorillo, A., de Rosa, C., Rossano, F. et al. Relatives' views on involuntary hospital admission in 8 EUNOMIA sites. BMC Psychiatry 7, S32 (2007).

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  • Mental Health
  • European Country
  • Mental Health Care
  • Psychiatric Patient
  • Emergency Situation