A team of Norwegian and UK researchers examined the results from the Oxford Community Treatment Order Evaluation Trial (OCTET), and found that programs forcing people to take psychiatric medications while they are living in the community “do not have benefit on any of the tested outcomes, or for any subgroup of patients.” The study was published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica.
The OCTET is a randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of community treatment orders — often called “assisted outpatient treatment” in the United States. Several hundred patients were followed for a year and “there was no significant difference at 12 months” between patients being subjected to forced treatment and those who were not. In light of the lack of benefits, the continued use of forced outpatient treatment, stated the researchers, “should be carefully reconsidered.”
(Abstract) Community treatment orders: clinical and social outcomes, and a subgroup analysis from the OCTET RCT (Rugkåsa, J et al. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. Published online before print December 11, 2014. DOI: 10.1111/acps.12373)