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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Yuanli Liu liuyl_fpo@126.com; Yi-lang Tang ytang5@emory.edu

FJ, YL and YT had full access to all the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

FJ conducted the data analysis.

FJ, HZ, LH, TL, HL, and YL were responsible for data acquisition and contributed to its interpretation.

JF, JR, and YT wrote the manuscript, and all the co-authors revised its content.

All the authors approved the final version of the manuscript and agreed to be held accountable for all aspects of the work.

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

The reviewer FH and handling editor declared their shared affiliation at the time of the review.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by Beijing Medical and Health Foundation (MH180924).


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Psychiatry
  • mental health law
  • risk criteria
  • implementation
  • psychiatric hospital
  • involuntary admission

The Implementation of China's Mental Health Law-Defined Risk Criteria for Involuntary Admission: A National Cross-Sectional Study of Involuntarily Hospitalized Patients


Journal Title:

Frontiers in Psychiatry


Volume 9, Number NOV


, Pages 560-560

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Objective: Involuntary admission is one of the most controversial issues in psychiatry in China. This study aimed to examine the implementation of the new risk criteria for involuntary admission, as defined by the new Mental Health Law (MHL), in major psychiatric hospitals; and to explore factors associated with the implementation. Method: We selected 32 psychiatric hospitals in 29 provincial capital cities in mainland China. We included all involuntarily admitted psychiatric inpatients who were discharged from December 25 to 27, 2017. Patients' demographic and clinical data and reasons for admission were retrieved. Hospitals' information was also collected. Multilevel logistic regression was applied to explore factors associated with the implementation. Results: We collected valid data from 814 inpatients. Rates of risk criteria implementation ranged from 7.9 to 88.5% in these hospitals. Only 369 inpatients (45.3%) met the MHL-defined risk criteria. Overall, between 62.2 and 78.5% of the variance in risk criteria implementation was at the patient level, and between 21.5 and 37.8% of the variance was at the hospital level. Patients with higher Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores at admission were less likely to meet the risk criteria (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01-1.03). No statistically significant association was found between risk criteria implementation and other patient level or hospital level factors. Conclusion: Our findings show the implementation rate of the MHL's risk criteria overall was low, with only 45.3% of involuntary admissions meeting the MHL-defined criteria. This suggests that some patients' civil rights might have been violated.

Copyright information:

Copyright © 2018 Jiang, Zhou, Rakofsky, Hu, Liu, Liu, Liu and Tang.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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