Diversity & Equality in Health and Care Open Access

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The Law and Patient Beneficence: Provider Competency on Involuntary Hospitalization, a Systematic Review

Jennifer L. Robertson* and Candice C. Beasley

The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate competencies of healthcare providers in addressing psychiatric emergencies that may result in involuntary hospitalization. Specifically, this review explores if healthcare providers are competently prepared for involuntary hospitalization. Federal and state laws must be followed if a provider is to be competent in addressing a psychiatric emergency. According to federal law HR 4302, District of Columbia Mental Health Civil Commitment Modernization Act of 2004, the involuntary care of a person is defined as one “who is an imminent risk to themselves or others or is gravely disabled due to mental illness.” In accordance with federal law, all states have the ability to write and maintain their own statutes specific to involuntary hospitalization. It is notably difficult to address and evaluate competency across the nation with 50 different sets of statutes. However, if competency is not achieved by providers related to involuntary hospitalization, vulnerable people are at risk for harm and the loss of civil liberties. A systematic review of literature, since the October 2004 enactment of HR 4302, across the disciplines of social work, psychology, psychiatry, medicine, and law has yielded 461 articles. Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta- Analyses (PRISMA), 12 articles meet the requirements for inclusion for competency in knowledge on involuntary hospitalization by health care providers. People with mental health diagnoses have been marginalized and stigmatized throughout history due to antiquated education and the misuse of policy. Through innovative education, continued research, introspective growth, and systematic change, healthcare providers in the United States can be the competent practitioners that communities depended upon.

Published Date: 2024-03-04; Received Date: 2023-06-29