Compulsory admissions in Italy results of a national survey

Giovanni De Girolamo, Paola Rucci, Andrea Gaddini, Angelo Picardi, Giovanni Santone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: In Italy, Law No. 180 of 1978 changed the legal requirements for compulsory admissions to psychiatric inpatient facilities. This paper reports data on compulsory admissions gathered in the framework of a large-scale national survey of Italian public and private acute inpatient facilities. Methods: In Phase 1, structured interviews were conducted with each participating facility's head psychiatrist in all Italian regions with the exception of Sicily. In Phase 2, socio-demographic, clinical, and treatment-related information was collected for 1,577 patients admitted to 130 public and 36 private inpatient facilities in Italy during an index period for 2004. These patients were also rated using the 24-item Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and the Personal and Social Performance Rating Scale. Results: In 2001, the percentage of compulsory admissions, with respect to the total number of admissions to public units authorized to make compulsory admissions (N = 289), was 9.0 percent (n = 12,799), for a total of 114,570 hospital days. Conclusions: In Italy, the reform law did not lead to a higher compulsory admission rate than is found in other European countries. Compulsory admission is determined not only by psychopathological variables (e.g., diagnosis and severity) but also by the patient's level of functioning and degree of social integration, which play a relevant role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-60
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy


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