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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2001 Oct;189(10):716-21.

Violence in treatment resistant psychotic inpatients.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, St Vincent's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


This study sought to: a) ascertain the effect on rates of violence by varying its operational definition and b) compare characteristics of violent and nonviolent patients. Aggressive behavior was recorded daily for every patient (N = 78) during a 2-year period. Standardized rating scales were used to rate psychopathology and functioning. Almost two thirds of patients were aggressive to others, and 26% violently assaulted another person. Official incident reports underestimated rates of violence to others, self- harm, and property damage. Multivariate predictive models that greatly improved accuracy over base rates showed that violent patients tended to be female, schizophrenic (nonparanoid type), and abusive of alcohol before admission. Violence is more common in treatment resistant psychotic inpatients than suggested by incident reports. Standardized definitions of violence are urged in order to accurately study its prevalence and correlates. Models combining both historical/demographic and clinical data may enhance prediction of violence.

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