Psychotic patients' understanding of informed consent

M. Irwin, A. Lovitz, S. R. Marder, J. Mintz, W. J. Winslade, T. Van Putten, M. J. Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Courts have found psychiatric patients to have the qualified right to refuse treatment. Particularly problematic is whether newly admitted psychiatric patients can comprehend information and give informed constent. The authors examined the ability of voluntary and involuntary psychotic patients to understand information about antipsychotic medication, related this assessment to psychopathology, and evaluated factors involved in hypothetical acceptance or refusal of treatment. Although most patients stated they had understood informed consent material, objective ratings did not support this. Impaired understanding was significantly associated with thought disturbance but did not affect hypothetical acceptance or refusal of antipsychotics. Legal status was not a significant factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1354
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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