The level of use of coercive measures in patients diagnosed with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder at their first contact with the psychiatric services system in Denmark is not known. The aim of the study was to investigate the level of use of coercive measures during first year of contact in this group of patients. Using the longitudinal national registers, the use of coercive measures for each individual was calculated in a 1-year period from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2001, for patients in Denmark who at their first contact with the psychiatric services system were diagnosed within the schizophrenia-spectrum (F2 in ICD 10); 2222 patients were identified. The mean age was 30.7 years and 63.6% were males; 554 patients (24.9%) experienced use of coercive measures. A total of 222 patients (10.0%) were admitted involuntarily, 308 (13.9%) were detained. Seventy-two patients (3.2%) were treated involuntarily with anti-psychotic medication and 158 (7.1%) with sedative medication. A total of 241 patients (10.8%) were restrained with a leather belt, and 84 patients (3.8%) with a leather belt and strap(s). The mean duration of involuntary admission was 30.3 days. The mean duration of restraint with a leather belt was 2.66 days. This study provides information about the level of use of coercive measures in first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorders in Denmark.