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Psychiatr Q. 2002 Fall;73(3):229-37.

Repetitively assaultive psychiatric patients: review of published findings, 1978-2001.

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  • 1Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, 25 Staniford Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Embedded in samples of studies individual cases of psychiatric patient assault have been cases of persistent, repeat patient assailants. Although there have been literature reviews of samples of individual cases of assaults, there has been no similar review of the studies of repetitively violent patients. This paper reviewed 28 studies and found repetitively violent patients to be younger, equally male or female, and most frequently diagnosed with schizophrenia or personality disorder. The implications for safety, clinical care, and research are discussed. A new research approach is suggested.

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