New Danish model of cooperation prevents use of coercive measures in psychiatry

April 11, 2022

A new model for cooperation between municipalities, regions, and general practitioners reduces the use of coercive measures and overall hospitalisations in psychiatry.

The number of coercive admissions has increased over the last many years. Being admitted by force to the psychiatry has great costs for both the individual and for society. In this regard, three municipalities in Denmark - North Denmark Region, Central Denmark Region, and Region Zealand - have tested a model for how regions and municipalities can reduce the use of coercive measures when a patient is admitted to a psychiatric ward.

The evaluation shows that a determined and coordinated effort, as well as close cooperation between the region and the municipality, makes a difference in the number of admissions to a psychiatric ward. In all three regions, there were less use of coercive measures during the project period. Also, there were generally fewer admissions to the psychiatry in the three regions. 

The North Denmark Region and Central Denmark Region experienced a reduction of 37.5% and 55.5% in the number of forced admissions to psychiatry, respectively. Also, The North Denmark Region and Region Zealand had approx. 30% fewer coercive admissions.

The projects are based on The Danish Health Authority’s model for cross-sectoral teams for reducing coercion. The model’s purpose is to make the efforts for vulnerable groups who have experienced at least one forced admission more coherent and coordinated. It also has a broader focus than reducing coercion, and in this way, it can help strengthen the general cooperation between region, municipalities, and GPs to support a holistic and higher quality effort across these sectors.