A cluster analysis of people on Community Treatment Orders in Victoria, Australia.

Research paper by Lisa M LM Brophy, John E JE Reece, Fiona F McDermott

Indexed on: 07 Nov '06Published on: 07 Nov '06Published in: International Journal of Law and Psychiatry


This paper explores the clinical, social and demographic characteristics of 164 people on Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) in one area mental health service in Victoria, Australia. The results of an exploratory cluster analysis are presented to address the question of whether people on Community Treatment Orders can be categorised into statistically reliable, qualitatively distinct groupings. The data are presented in the context of key stakeholder perspectives on the current use and purpose of CTOs. Three stable clusters emerged and each potentially reflects how social dimensions, as well as clinical issues, influence decision making regarding the implementation of CTOs. These findings are important in the context of policy and practice in Victoria, where the use of CTOs is common practice, and orders are generally made for a 12 month period. The potential for improved targeting of CTOs and more specific treatment planning is identified.