Moving beyond randomized controlled trials in the evaluation of compulsory community treatment

Craig Duncan, Scott Weich, Graham Moon , Liz Twigg, Sarah-Jane Fenton, Kamaldeep Bhui, Alastair Canaway , David Crepaz-Keay, Patrick Keown, Jason Madan, Orla McBride, Helen Parsons, Swaran Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Compulsory community treatment for people with severe mental illness remains controversial due to conflicting research evidence. Recently, there have been challenges to the conventional view that trial-based evidence should take precedence. This paper adds to these challenges in three ways. First, it emphasizes the need for critiques of trials to engage with conceptual and not just technical issues. Second, it develops a critique of trials centred on both how we can have knowledge and what it is we can have knowledge of. Third, it uses this critique to develop a research strategy that capitalizes on the information in large-scale datasets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Early online date29 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jul 2019



  • compulsory community treatment
  • mental health policy
  • realist evaluation
  • randomised controlled trials
  • clinical effectiveness
  • randomized controlled trials

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