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It has been suggested that worldwide incidents of violence account for more than 1.6 million deaths each year. However, the proportion of personal violence resulting in death is only a fraction of personal violence or of violent assaults overall. In this introductory chapter we consider what we mean when we use the term ‘violence’ and examine the extent of violence in both the world and, specifically, the British context. Finally, the nature of the association between violence and mental disorder is explored.

Results of meta-analyses

In order to explore the general profile of the RCT data, we first carried out an exploratory MA. This analysis included all 40 analyses for which metrics suited to conversion to ORs were available (see Chapter 2, Meta-analysis). The number of ‘risk ratio’ analyses was too small to be meaningfully combined for this purpose.

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