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Psychiatr Q. 2002 Spring;73(1):59-69.

Characteristics of assaultive psychiatric patients: ten year analysis of the Assaulted Staff Action Program (ASAP).

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Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Nearly thirty years of published research has documented the continuing presence of patient assaults on staff. These studies have included the traditional male patient with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and histories of violence and substance use disorder and the newer female, personality-disordered individual. This study reports on a ten-year longitudinal analysis of assaultive patients in one public-sector mental healthcare system during a period which included the national shift toward managed care initiatives. Data were gathered in the context of the Assaulted Staff Action Program, a crisis intervention program for staff victims. Patient assailants in both inpatient and community settings included both the traditional and newer personality-disordered individuals. The majority of assailants were females. Managed care initiatives appeared to have had little impact on type of assailants. Implications for safety and treatment are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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