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© The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2016. Background Individual variables and area-level variables have been identified as explaining much of the variance in rates of compulsory in-patient treatment. Aims To describe rates of voluntary and compulsory psychiatric in-patient treatment in rural and urban settings in England, and to explore the associations with age, ethnicity and deprivation. Method Secondary analysis of 2010/11 data from the Mental Health Minimum Dataset. Results Areas with higher levels of deprivation had increased rates of in-patient treatment. Areas with high proportions of adults aged 20-39 years had the highest rates of compulsory in-patient treatment as well as the lowest rates of voluntary in-patient treatment. Urban settings had higher rates of compulsory in-patient treatment and ethnic density was associated with compulsory treatment in these areas. After adjusting for age, deprivation and urban/rural setting, the association between ethnicity and compulsory treatment was not statistically significant. Conclusions Age structure of the adult population and ethnic density along with higher levels of deprivation can account for the markedly higher rates of compulsory in-patient treatment in urban areas.

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Psychiatry

Publication Date





157 - 161