To determine the extent to which involuntary hospitalization is
overused, a "No-Commitment Week" was set aside, during which emergency room
psychiatrists committed only patients in absolute need of hospitalization.
Compared with the week before and the week after, there was no significant
difference in the number of patients committed during No-Commitment Week.
The authors propose replication of the study on a larger scale but suggest
that decisions about involuntary hospitalization in public mental hospitals
are the result of societal attitudes, which will be subject to change as
long as society itself continues to change.