Psychiatric morbidity among homicide offenders: A Swedish population study

Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, U.K.
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.56). 11/2004; 161(11):2129-31. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.161.11.2129
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The authors examined psychiatric diagnoses of all individuals convicted of homicide and attempted homicide in Sweden from 1988 to 2001 (N=2,005).
High-quality national crime and hospital registers were linked to investigate standardized psychiatric diagnoses of homicide offenders.
The presence or absence of psychiatric diagnoses was ascertained for 1,625 (81%) of the homicide offenders; 1,464 (90%) of these offenders had a psychiatric diagnosis. Twenty percent (N=409) of all 2,005 offenders had a psychotic illness, and 54% (N=589) of a subgroup of 1,091 offenders with information on secondary diagnoses had a personality disorder as a principal or secondary diagnosis. Only 10% of the offenders for whom psychiatric diagnostic information was available had no diagnosis.
Using a comprehensive method for identifying psychiatric illness in homicide offenders, the authors found higher rates of psychiatric morbidity than previous studies. Their findings underline the importance of psychiatric assessment in homicide offenders and suggest that treatment might have a preventive role.

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    ABSTRACT: Few studies have examined temporal changes in the contribution of psychosis to homicide offending. This research examines whether the incidence and the proportion of people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, compared to all homicide offenders, have changed over a 20-year period in Sweden. All homicide offenders in Sweden from 1987 through 2006 were identified in the National Register for Criminal Convictions and linked on an individual level to the Central Archive of the National Board of Forensic Medicine, where data concerning individuals subjected to a forensic psychiatric examination in Sweden are registered. Offenders with a diagnosis of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder (F20-F29) formed the subgroup of offenders with psychosis. While the overall incidence of homicide did not change over time, both the incidence and the proportion of offenders with schizophrenia spectrum disorders decreased somewhat in relation to all homicide offenders. Although offenders with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder still comprise a disproportionately large share of all homicide offenders, their contribution to the overall incidence of homicide is at least not increasing in Sweden. Yet, it remains a significant problem that needs to be addressed by clinicians and researchers.
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    Psychological Medicine 04/2015; DOI:10.1017/S0033291715000458 · 5.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Association between violence and mental disorders has contributed immensely to the stigma associated with mental illness in the society; because people erroneously see mentally ill individuals as dangerous, they will not want to associate with them. Aims: To assess the prevalence and pattern of psychiatric disorders among a sample of the violent offenders and to examine any relationship between psychiatric disorders and crimes. Method: This was a two-phase cross-sectional study in three police stations in Ile-Ife/Modakeke area of Nigeria. In the first phase, we screened 400 consecutive adults arrested for violent crimes using the General Health Questionnaire—30. In the second phase, all 36 persons with probable psychopathology were then interviewed with the Present State Examination to make a definitive diagnosis. Results: The mean age of all the subjects was 29.9 years (SD ± 7.3). The male to female ratio was 11:1. Respondents were mostly single (54%); most had secondary education or less (82%) and about 60% were currently using psychoactive substances (drugs). About 8.5% of all the subjects had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder; paranoid schizophrenia was the commonest psychiatric disorder (41.2%). Mentally ill subjects were three times more likely to commit homicidal offence than non-mentally ill subjects. Conclusion: There exists a significant but weak relationship between mental illness and violent crimes.