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Systematic review of qualitative research on coercive treatment

This paper reports findings of a review of qualitative studies exploring patients' experiences of involuntary hospital treatment. Thematic analysis was used to synthesize emerging issues from different studies. Only five studies with a total sample of 54 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria of the review. Main themes in the studies were a) patients' perceived autonomy and participation in clinical decision-making, b) the extent to which they felt cared for and c) their sense of self-respect. In all these areas both negative and positive aspects of involuntary admissions and treatments were found. However, studies are also characterised by major methodological shortcomings. Thus, the potentials of qualitative research in this area have not yet been fully utilized.

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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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Priebe, S. Systematic review of qualitative research on coercive treatment. BMC Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S56 (2007).

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  • Public Health
  • Systematic Review
  • Total Sample
  • Qualitative Study
  • Qualitative Research