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Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2006 Sep;29(3):743-60.

Forensic psychiatric aspects of inpatient violence.

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Division of Psychiatry and the Law, University of California, Davis Medical Center, 2230 Stockton Boulevard, Second Floor, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.


Inpatient aggression jeopardizes the safety of psychiatric clinicians and patients. A minority of psychiatric inpatients is responsible for most of inpatient assaults; this subset of repetitively assaultive patients warrants greater attention in the form of systematic study. In developing treatment approaches for assaultive inpatients, it is important to characterize the primary motivation driving aggressive behavior. There are many pharmacologic agents and psychotherapeutic approaches available to address inpatients who engage in impulsive and psychotic violence, but the treatment of inpatients with antisocial or psychopathy personality remain limited, and further study is needed. To protect the safety of patients and staff, criminal prosecution of inpatient assaults is clinically justified if an assailant continues to be aggressive despite appropriate clinical interventions or commits an act of planned aggression so egregious that prosecution is the only reasonable alternative.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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