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Aggressive behaviour, victimisation and crime among severely mentally ill patients requiring hospitalisation

  • Sheilagh Hodgins (a1), Jane Alderton (a1), Adrian Cree (a1), Andrew Aboud (a1) and Timothy Mak (a1)...
Abstract
Background

Severe mental illness is associated with increased risk of aggressive behaviour, crime and victimisation. Mental health policy does not acknowledge this evidence. The number of forensic beds has risen dramatically.

Aims

To examine the prevalence of aggressive behaviour, victimisation and criminality among people receiving in-patient treatment for severe mental illness in an inner-city area.

Method

Self-reports of aggressive behaviour and victimisation and criminal records were collected for 205 in-patients with severe mental illness.

Results

In the preceding 6 months 49% of the men and 39% of the women had engaged in aggressive behaviour and 57% of the men and 48% of the women had been victims of assault; 47% of the men and 17% of the women had been convicted of at least one violent crime.

Conclusions

Aggressive behaviour and victimisation are common among severely mentally ill people requiring hospitalisation in the inner city. Rates of violent crime are higher than in the general population.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor Sheilagh Hodgins, Department of Forensic Mental Health Science, Institute of Psychiatry, Box PO 23, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK. Email: s.hodgins@iop.kcl.ac.uk
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Declaration of interests

None.

Footnotes
References
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Aggressive behaviour, victimisation and crime among severely mentally ill patients requiring hospitalisation

  • Sheilagh Hodgins (a1), Jane Alderton (a1), Adrian Cree (a1), Andrew Aboud (a1) and Timothy Mak (a1)...
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eLetters

Other factors may affect aggressive behaviour in hospitalised patients

Lalana Dissanayake
28 November 2007

Correspondence-Paper on Aggressive behaviour, victimisation and crime among severely mentally ill patients requiring hospitalisation raise interesting issues.

Higher rates of aggressive behaviour, crime and violence among severely mentally ill patients requiring hospitalisation is the outcome ofthis paper.

However it seems that there are some methodological pitfalls which may cloud the outcome.

The study was done in inner-city London area where the deprived social status can be primarily a cause of aggressive behaviour and crime. (Campbell et al,1985 sep, Dean et al 2007 Apr) This can be a possible confounder. The weight of the study could have been more if there was a control group from similar social status.

Recent changes in the model of care in the means of functional teams such as Assertive outreach and crisis resolution teams would work as filters and only the severely ill patients would be admitted to in-patientcare.(Marshall M et al 2001,Commander M et al 2005). This self-selection by default causes a bias in the sample.

It would shed more light on the outcome if the study can replicate with the patients of the Crisis and Assertive outreach teams.

References1.Campbell A,Bibel D,Muncer S(1985)Predicting our own aggression: person: subculture or situation British Journal of Social Psychology,24,169-80

2.Dean K,Walsh E,Mogan C,Demjaha A,Dazzan P,Morgan K,Lloyd T,Fearson P,Jones PB,Murry RM(2007),Aggressive behaviour at first contact with services finding from the AESOP First Episode Psychosis Study, Psychological Medicine,37(4):547-57

3.Commander M,Sashidharan S,Rana T,RatnayakeT (2005),Social Psychiatry & psychiatric epidemiology,40:988-993

4.Marshall M,Lockwood A,(2001),Assertive community treatment for people with severe mental disorders(Cochrane review)

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