Objective: This study examined the relationship between criminal arrest and gender, substance use disorder, and use of community mental health services among patients with bipolar I disorder. Methods: Los Angeles County's computerized management information system was used to retrospectively identify all inmates with a DSM-IV diagnosis of bipolar I disorder who were evaluated over a seven-month period in the psychiatric division of Los Angeles County Jail and had a history of psychiatric hospitalization in the community. Patients without a history of arrest who were involuntarily hospitalized in the community and treated for bipolar I disorder over the same seven-month period served as a comparison group. The use of community mental health services that inmates received before their arrest was quantified and compared with the services that patients in the comparison group received before their involuntary hospitalization. Results: Patients who had been arrested (N=66) were more likely than patients in the comparison group (N=52) to be male (55 percent compared with 31 percent) and to have a history of substance use disorder (76 percent compared with 19 percent) but were less likely to have a history of treatment while under a mental health conservatorship (8 percent compared with 29 percent). In contrast to patients in the comparison group, patients who had been arrested were hospitalized more frequently (a mean of 3.4 hospitalizations per year compared with a mean of 1.1 hospitalizations per year) and had a briefer average length of stay (a mean of 9.2 days compared with a mean of 16.4 days). Conclusions: In contrast to patients in the comparison group, patients who had been arrested were more likely to be male, to have comorbid substance use disorder, and to have a treatment history characterized by more frequent, briefer hospitalizations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health