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Article   |    
Outpatient Commitment: Treatment in the Least Restrictive Environment?
Robert D. Miller; Paul B. Fiddleman
Psychiatric Services 1984; doi:
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Mendota Mental Health Institute, 301 Troy Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53704.; University of Wisconsin in Madison; John Umstead Hospital in Butner, North Carolina; Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina

John Umstead Hospital; University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill

1984 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Despite the growing emphasis on treatment in the least restrictive environment, states rarely use commitment to outpatient treatment as an alternative to involuntary hospitalization. The authors studied the effects of changes in North Carolina commitment laws that were made in 1979 and designed to facilitate the appropriate use of outpatient commitment. The changes resulted in some increase in the appropriate use of outpatient commitment; nevertheless, clinicians who work at hospitals and community treatment facilities con-tinue to doubt its efficacy. The authors discuss possible reasons f or the clinicians' reluctance to use outpatient commitment and attitudinal shifts needed on the part ofthe general public, professionals, and the judiciary if out patient commitment is to become a viable alternative.

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