Excess use of coercive measures in psychiatry among migrants compared with native Danes

Authors


Marie Norredam MD, PhD, Department of Health Services Research, Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Østre Farimagsgade 5, building 5, 1014 Copenhagen K, Denmark.
E-mail: m.norredam@pubhealth.ku.dk

Abstract

Norredam M, Garcia-Lopez A, Keiding N, Krasnik A. Excess use of coercive measures in psychiatry among migrants compared with native Danes.

Objective:  To investigate differences in risk of compulsory admission and other coercive measures in psychiatric emergencies among refugees and immigrants compared with that among native Danes.

Method:  A register-based retrospective cohort design. All refugees (n = 29 174) and immigrants (n = 33 287) who received residence permission in Denmark from 1.1.1993 to 31.12.1999 were included and matched 1 : 4 on age and sex with native Danes. Civil registration numbers were cross-linked to the Danish Psychiatric Central Register and the Registry of Coercive Measures in Psychiatric Treatment.

Results:  Refugees (RR = 1.82; 95%CI: 1.45; 2.29) and immigrants (RR = 1.14; 95%CI: 0.83; 1.56) experienced higher rates of compulsory admissions than did native Danes. This was most striking for refugee men (RR = 2.00; 95%CI: 1.53; 2.61) and immigrant women (RR = 1.73; 95%CI: 1.45; 2.60). Moreover, refugees and immigrants experienced higher frequencies of other coercive measures during hospitalisation compared with native Danes.

Conclusion:  Coercive measures in psychiatry are more likely to be experienced by migrants than by native Danes.

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