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FOSTREN Country blog – Sweden

Written by Dr Veikko Pelto-Piri and Dr Anna Björkdahl (for Swedish version, please click this link) What is your country’s stand on coercion reduction? ​ According to the Swedish Law on compulsory psychiatric care (LPT), coercive care may be given if the patient suffers from a serious mental disorder and…


FOSTREN Country blog – Norway

FOSTREN Country blogs – Norway by Tonje Lossius Husum & Jorun Rugkåsa with input from Kent Jensen (Norwegian network for research on coercion ‘TvangsForsk’) What is your country’s stand on coercion reduction? ​ Coercive processes permitted in Norway In Norway, formal coercion is defined based on the Norwegian mental health…


FOSTREN Country blog – Greece

FOSTREN Country blog – Greece by C. Bora, A. Douzenis, C. Ioannou, and S. Stylianidis. (for Greek version, please click on this link) What is coercion and why does FOSTREN want to reduce it?   Coercion occurs in this context when a person receiving mental health care (i.e. a patient…


FOSTREN Country blog – Poland

Country blog Poland by Dr Jakub Lickiewicz

What is your country’s stand on coercion reduction?

In Poland, the use of coercive measures is regulated by the Mental Health Act (1994), according to which adequate coercive measures include:

  • physical restraint, i.e. temporary use of physical force to immobilise a patient,
  • compulsory administration of drugs, both on an ad hoc and planned basis
  • mechanical restraint, immobilisation, which involves incapacitating the patient with the use of belts or other technical means,
  • seclusion, which means placing the patient in a solitary, specially adapted room (Karcz, Zimmerman, 2017).

When coercive measures are required in Poland, mechanical restraints are typically used.

Medical personnel see a problem, and as they seek solutions, and there have been some initiatives to decrease the use of coercion in psychiatry. Some alternatives for coercion have been suggested by medical personnel, but they have been site-specific. There have been no policy changes, which typically come from and through the Ministry of Health.

In 2018, the Mental Health Act was amended, resulting in better control of coercive measures and is multi-staged. The requirement to verify the legitimacy of applying coercive measures significantly reduced their use. This was a step in the right direction, however, apart from legal solutions, systemic solutions are also needed.