Different forms of informal coercion in psychiatry: a qualitative study

Veikko Pelto-Piri*, Lars Kjellin, Ulrika Hylén, Emanuele Valenti, Stefan Priebe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The objective of the study was to investigate how mental health professionals describe and reflect upon different forms of informal coercion.

RESULTS: In a deductive qualitative content analysis of focus group interviews, several examples of persuasion, interpersonal leverage, inducements, and threats were found. Persuasion was sometimes described as being more like a negotiation. Some participants worried about that the use of interpersonal leverage and inducements risked to pass into blackmail in some situations. In a following inductive analysis, three more categories of informal coercion was found: cheating, using a disciplinary style and referring to rules and routines. Participants also described situations of coercion from other stakeholders: relatives and other authorities than psychiatry. The results indicate that informal coercion includes forms that are not obviously arranged in a hierarchy, and that its use is complex with a variety of pathways between different forms before treatment is accepted by the patient or compulsion is imposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number787 (2019)
Number of pages4
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Coercion
  • Ethics
  • Informal coercion
  • Leverage
  • Psychiatry
  • Qualitative research

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