Psychiatry Res 2018 04 11;262:400-406. Epub 2017 Sep 11.
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Centre for Acute Psychiatric Disorders, University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich, Switzerland.
Aims: Informal coercion is a frequently used form of communication among mental health professionals to influence treatment outcomes. This study investigates the recognition, attitude, and application of different forms of informal coercion by mental health professionals.
Methods: Mental health professionals of five psychiatric institutions in Germany and Switzerland (n = 424) took part in an online survey assessing the recognition of, attitudes towards, and application of different forms of informal coercion.
Results: Mental health professionals did not recognize the extent of informal coercion adequately; especially stronger forms were underestimated. Recognition and application of informal coercion was predicted by attitudes towards coercion. Furthermore, there were differences between profession of participants regarding the recognition and application of informal coercion.
Conclusions: It is important to realize that the extent of applied informal coercion in therapeutic communication is often not recognized by practitioners, although it might interfere with a sound therapeutic relationship.