JOURNAL ARTICLE

Implementation of first Croatian Law on Protection of Persons with Mental Disorders

Vlado Jukić, Miroslav Goreta, Oliver Kozumplik, Miroslav Herceg, Zeljko Majdancić, Lana Muzinić
Collegium Antropologicum 2005, 29 (2): 543-9
16417159
The aim of this article was to examine Croatian psychiatric practice regarding involuntary hospitalization, after the Law on Protection of Persons with Mental Disorders became effective, on January 1, 1998. Data on the practice of involuntary hospitalizations of patients with mental disorders in Vrapce Psychiatric Hospital were collected from the medical records, for the years 1998 and 1999. Data regarding involuntary hospitalizations from other Croatian hospitals and departments were obtained from heads of psychiatric hospitals and departments for the first five months of 1998. The rate of involuntarily hospitalized patients in Vrapce Psychiatric Hospital rose significantly from 1998 to 1999 (p < 0.01). The rate of patients involuntarily hospitalized under section 21, subsection 3 rose significantly from 1998 to 1999 (p < 0.01), while rate of patients involuntarily hospitalized under section 22, subsection 1 decreased significantly in the same period (p < 0.01) in Vrapce Psychiatric Hospital. The implementation of the Law on protection of persons with mental disorders was not applied uniformly in all Croatian psychiatric institutions during first five months of 1998. Further analyses on this subject are necessary in order to investigate the influence of changes and supplements to the Law on the protection of persons with mental disorders on the practice of involuntary hospitalizations.

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