Article

Short-Term Prediction of Inpatient Violence in Locked Psychiatric Wards in Japan: An Epidemiologic Study

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Abstract

Purpose: Violence in psychiatric hospital wards in Japan is not well understood, and the risk factors for identification of violent patients have not been established. The goal of this study was to develop strategies for short-term prediction of violence based on behavioral profiles. Methods: Demographic characteristics, diagnoses, psychiatric symptoms and social skills were analyzed in 534 inpatients in seven closed wards of four psychiatric hospitals. The behavior of these subjects was observed using the Brøset Violence Checklist (BVC). Results: Ninety-two subjects were involved in 164 incidents of violence. Logistic regression analysis suggested that a past history of violence, significant dysthymia, and a BVC score of 1 or higher were risk factors for violence. Discussion and Conclusion: Violence in psychiatric wards can be predicted using background factors including a past history of violence, a lack of negative symptoms, and dysphoria, in combination with a BVC score of 1 or more. Prevention of violence may be achieved with careful attention to the identified risk factors.

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