Research Output

External factors influencing length of stay in forensic services – a European evaluation

  Objectives. A growing number of patients whose length-of-stay in forensic services is above average length are identifiable in several European countries. Forensic services are situated within a particular sociocultural setting. Accordingly, this trend to increased admission length cannot be solely attributed to patient characteristics. This is the first known study exploring the influence of external factors on length-of-stay in forensic services.
Methods. Representatives from 16 European countries, members of the international COST project, focused on forensic psychiatric service, analyzed their respective forensic services using a structured tool. Responses were combined and analyzed using thematic analysis.
Results. Four themes described the factors influencing length-of-stay: care and treatment pathways; resources; legal and systemic impact; and sharing expertise.
Conclusions. Findings suggest multidisciplinary consideration of the whole care path- way is required to address increased length-of-stay. Further research is required to support development of evidence-based standards applicable across Europe, and improve outcomes for patients at risk of increased length-of-stay in forensic services.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 June 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Komitet Redakcyjno - Wydawniczy Polskiego Towarzystwa Psychiatrycznego

  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


  • ISSN:


  • Funders:

    European Commission


Connell, C., Seppänen, A., Scarpa, F., Gosek, P., Heitzman, J., & Furtado, V. (2019). External factors influencing length of stay in forensic services – a European evaluation. Psychiatria Polska, 53(3), 673-689.



forensic psychiatry, long-stay patients, length-of-stay

Monthly Views:

Available Documents