Community Treatment Orders-Why the Controversy?

Poster C5, Wednesday, October 10, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

david kantor1; 1Services and Housing in Peel

Community treatment orders (CTOs) as discussed in international literature are often described as ineffective or at best, of questionable benefit. Yet they are being initiated in increasing numbers, This apparent paradox can be explained by an analysis of the geographic differences in both the criteria for initiation of a CTO, as well as the consequences of enforcing it. In Ontario Canada CTOs are being initiated with increasing frequency. A review of 50 patients subject to CTOs demonstrated a dramatic decrease in time in hospital for patients post initiation of a CTO. The primary contributing factor to this finding is the opportunity to maintain a non-compliant patient's medication without interruption thus preventing relapse, rather than involuntary administration of medication being possible only after signs of relapse. This opportunity is available as a result of the local mental health laws regarding involuntary treatment, and it is the geographic variations in these laws that account for the disparate opinions about CTO effectiveness.

Topic Area: Psychosocial Interventions

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