Sharon-Lise Normand, along with colleagues from Finland, China, the U.K., and Stanford, will be conducting a study, the details of which were published in BMC Psychiatry, about the use of coercive force—e.g., physical restraint and forced injection—in psychiatric hospitals for patients with schizophrenia.
The study is analyzing treatment environment and culture and the impact on patients’ behavior, as well as the impact of staff education on treatment culture as a whole. The study will assess 28 psychiatric facilities across Finland to see what outcomes may result in the form of individual patient response and their interactions with staff and fellow patients.
Every year over 38 percent of the total European Union population suffer from mental disorders, and schizophrenia constitutes the second greatest global burden in terms of disability. Coercive force, while sometimes necessary to restrain violent patients, raises ethical dilemmas about humane treatment and can lead to more violence and even higher mortality rates. If this study achieves measurable outcomes, it will provide evidence to support less restrictive interventions.