All over the world large numbers of people are admitted to psychiatric hospitals. The laws governing this are controversial and in the U.K. are governed by the 2007 Mental Health Act. Most laws are based on the assumption that people who are compulsorily admitted to hospital do not recognise their need for care at the time so research has tended to concentrate on whether - looking back on things - people think it was a good idea that they received treatment. A team of researchers, led by Stefan Priebe from Newham Centre for Mental Health, London led a study of 1,613 people in 11 different countries. They were interviewed within a week of admission and again after a month and three months. The number of people who were happy with the decision to involuntarily treat them varied a lot between the different countries and ranged from 71% in Italy to 39% in Lithuania after a month and from 46% in Sweden to 86% in Italy after three months. (The figures for England were 47% and 54% respectively.) Women, people living alone and people with schizophrenia were more likely to be unhappy with their admissions.
Priebe, Stefan ... [et al] - Patients' views of involuntary hospital admission after 1 and 3 months: prospective study in 11 European countries British Journal of Psychiatry March 2010, 196(3), 179-185