Inpatient aggression by mentally ill offenders: a retrospective case-control study
Agatha Conrad, Megha Mulchandani, Anoop Sankaranarayanan & Terry J. Lewin
The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology
Volume 25, Issue 4, 2014
A retrospective case-control study was conducted examining relationships between patients’ socio-demographic, clinical and admission characteristics and inpatient aggression. Patients aged 18–64 years with a recent offence episode, who were admitted to a regional acute mental health unit, were included as cases (N = 82), while controls comprised the next available admission, matched for age and gender (N = 82). The prototypical patient was a young, single male, with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, a history of substance use and previous psychiatric admissions. The majority of cases had a history of aggression and recent offences against public order. They also revealed a higher likelihood of involvement in ‘less serious’ aggressive incidents (e.g. verbal threats or demands) during the index admission. Clinically, knowledge of each patient’s recent offence history, arrival mode and observed characteristics on admission (including any verbal aggression) may be important in the management of subsequent inpatient aggression.