In the United States, an attorney may request a competency to stand trial evaluation if they are concerned that their client is not mentally fit to adequately participate in their case and defense. Patients found incompetent must undergo treatment for restoration of competency, regardless of their willingness. Clinicians and psychiatrists may use vignettes, or hypothetical scenarios, to help restore competency if the patient lacks insight into their mental illness. While vignettes have been well documented in studying attitudes and awareness, decision making, and identifying mental illness, there is little to no research into their use in psychiatric hospitals due to the limitations of studying patients who lack the insight and motivation to participate in their own treatment. This paper explores how the use of vignettes in short-term inpatient facilities may decrease patient stays and encourage restoration of competency, while use in long-term facilities may allow for patients to analyze all aspects of the criminal situation, including before, during, and after the incident.



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