Overview of Violence to Self and Others During the First Episode of Psychosis
ABSTRACT We aimed to review the evidence for an association between the first episode of psychosis and violence and to consider the possible explanations for this association and the implications for clinicians and service providers.
We searched for published studies in English describing an association between violence and first-episode psychosis using the subject headings, key words, abstracts, and titles in PubMed/MEDLINE from 1970 to 2010, using the terms first-episode schizophrenia OR first-episode psychosis OR early schizophrenia AND suicide OR self harm OR suicide attempt OR homicide OR violence.
We identified 20 studies reporting data on violent suicide attempts, self-mutilation, minor violence, severe nonlethal interpersonal violence, or homicide in first-episode and previously treated psychosis.
The number of people committing acts of violence prior to initial treatment for psychosis and after initial treatment was extracted from the relevant studies.
The proportion of people found to be in the first episode of psychosis at the time of an act of violence was compared to the expected ratio of first-episode to previously treated patients. A substantial proportion of psychotic patients examined after violent suicide attempts (49%), major self-mutilation (54%), homicide (39%), and assault resulting in serious injury (38%) are in their first episode of psychosis. Moreover, a substantial proportion of first-episode patients commit an act of less serious violence or attempt suicide prior to initial treatment.
The findings support the need for early intervention and community-wide programs to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis.
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ABSTRACT: Published findings on the relationship between schizophrenia and violence have been mixed, due to differences in study design and quality. In this review, we address the issue with an emphasis on characterizing who is most likely to be violent and when. We conclude that: (1) individuals with schizophrenia are at an increased risk for violence due to specific psychotic symptoms; (2) this risk is increased by brain abnormalities, psychiatric comorbidities, and demographic factors that are not specific to schizophrenia; (3) the majority of violent offenses committed by people with schizophrenia are indistinguishable from offenses committed by others; and (4) despite our knowledge of factors related to increased violence risk and the existence of effective treatments to mitigate this risk, valid risk assessment instruments for this population are lacking, and treatment strategies are rarely employed at any level of psychiatric care. In short, while most people with schizophrenia are not violent and violence committed by people with this condition accounts for only a small percentage of overall violent crime, there is nevertheless a significantly increased risk for violence among subgroups in this population. This has implications for people living with people with schizophrenia, mental health professionals, administrators of psychiatric care facilities, law enforcement personnel, the court system, and policymakers.05/2015; 1(1):21-42. DOI:10.1080/23744006.2015.1033154
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ABSTRACT: After participating in this activity, learners should be better able to:Evaluate emerging concepts of identification, treatment and discharge planning for individuals who are experiencing a first psychotic episode while detained in the criminal justice system. The United States incarcerates more people than any other nation in the world. The system of jails and prisons that holds those individuals has become the largest provider of mental health care in the country, with rates of psychotic illness many times higher than in the community. A subset of this population includes individuals experiencing their first episode of psychosis who are untreated and are new to the rules of institutional settings. Retrospective and anecdotal reports indicate that many individuals in the criminal justice system have first-episode psychosis, yet no published information is available about the actual rates. For these patients, behavior associated with psychotic symptoms may have led to their arrest, but correctional facilities are poorly equipped to identify their needs and to provide the type of comprehensive treatment needed to improve functional status, quality of life, and illness recovery. Even as first-episode programs are flourishing in community settings, we know little about how to identify, engage, possibly divert, and treat these patients in settings designed as punishment. Efforts should be made both to reduce the number of these individuals inappropriately prosecuted within the criminal justice system and to begin in-jail efforts to engage them in treatment, in anticipation of their eventual return to the community.Harvard Review of Psychiatry 05/2015; 23(3):167-75. DOI:10.1097/HRP.0000000000000066 · 2.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The growing burden of chronic often untreated mental illness has increased the importance of risk assessment in people suffering from major mental disorders. The present study was undertaken to obtain prevalence of various risks and predictive factors for self-harm, violence and various other risks among randomly recruited schizophrenia subjects (N=270) on the basis of past history of their disorder. Using a rigorous translation, back translation and acceptability process, a specially constructed semi-structured assessment interview, based on a prior NHS Trust risk assessment interview along with the Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies (DIGS), detailed information was obtained for various risks. Risk of violence (historical) was reported among 65.55%, and risk of self-neglect among 53.33%, risk to others (47.41%), risk of coming to harm (24.07%), self-harm (22.59%), risk from others (11.85%), fire risk (2.96%). Risk of violence (historical) and risk to others was related to 'ever' having emotions related to harm and self-harm, 'current' emotions related to violence and poor compliance to treatment. Regular risk assessment is essential to assess emotions related to violence and non-adherence to treatment. Assessment of risk helps clinicians predict the risks involved in management and in timely intervention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Asian Journal of Psychiatry 02/2015; 37. DOI:10.1016/j.ajp.2015.01.005