Article

Psychotic homicides in Copenhagen from 1959 to 1983.

Clinic of Forensic Psychiatry, Ministry of Justice, Institute of Theoretical Statistics, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica (Impact Factor: 5.55). 10/1987; 76(3):285-92. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1987.tb02897.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT During the years from 1959 to 1983, 263 Copenhagen defendants of homicide underwent a psychiatric examination for the court. Twenty-three percent of the defendants were held to be psychotic at the time of the crime. The psychotic defendants differed from the non-psychotic by being older, less often substance abusing and by choosing victims inside their families. It is discussed whether a reduction in the available number of psychiatric beds could be a contributional reason for the increase in especially the number of schizophrenic defendants. About one third of all defendants were by the examining psychiatrists found in need of a sanction different from ordinary punishment; furthermore, a tendency towards sanctions of treatment instead of just placement in a psychiatric hospital was documented and is discussed. The increasing demand of capacity for forensic, psychiatric patients is mentioned.

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    ABSTRACT: Diversos estudos encontraram uma relação entre transtornos mentais graves e violência. Uma das abordagens de estudo deste tema são as investigações com criminosos homicidas. O objetivo do presente artigo foi investigar a associação entre homicídio e transtornos mentais. Método: Foi realizada uma revisão da literatura, através das seguintes bases de dados: Medline, Scientific Eletronic Library Online e Lilacs. No sistema Medline também foi pesquisada a seção de artigos relacionados. Resultados: Embora exista uma associação entre transtornos mentais e homicídio, não está claro porque alguns pacientes comportam-se de forma violenta e outros não. Transtornos relacionados ao uso de álcool/drogas e transtornos de personalidade comórbidos e falta de aderência ao tratamento podem aumentar este risco. Conclusões: É justificável a identificação de pessoas com risco elevado de comportamento violento e oferta de tratamento em serviços de saúde mental para as mesmas. Estes serviços deveriam prevenir a perda de contato e não-colaboração com o tratamento que freqüentemente precedem o homicídio perpetra-do por pessoas com transtornos mentais graves. É de fundamental importância que a sociedade e as autoridades governamentais diminuam as barreiras de acesso ao tratamento psiquiátrico e psicossocial. A b s t r a c t Objective: Several studies have found a relationship between severe mental disorders and violence. One of the approaches to study this theme are investigations with homicide offenders. The aim of the present article was to investigate the association between homicide and mental disorders. Method: A review of the literature was made through the following databases: Medline, Scientific Eletronic Library Online and Lilacs. In the Medline system, it was also searched the related articles section. Results: Although there is an association between mental disorders and homicide, it is not clear why some patients behave violently and others do not. Comorbid alcohol/drugs disorders and personality disorders and lack of adherence to treatment may increase this risk. Conclusions: Identifying people with risk of violence and offering them mental health treatment services is warranted. These services should prevent the loss of contact and non-compliance with treatment that frequently precede homicide committed by people with severe mental disorders. It is of utmost importance that society and governmental authorities decrease the barriers that limit access to psychiatric and psychosocial treatment.
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