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Schizophrenia is one of the most common severe mental disorders associated with an increased risk of violence. The present study compares the demographical, clinical, and criminological characteristics of the patients with schizophrenia who committed different types of violence to relatives, acquaintances, or strangers. Archives of the violent offenders with schizophrenia referred to forensic psychiatric assessments from January 2015 to December 2019 in the West China Forensic Medicine Assessment Center in China were analyzed. The demographic information, mental illness history, and criminological characteristics of the offenders were collected. The clinical symptoms, previous violent behaviors, and social deficits were also evaluated. One-way ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis test, Chi-square test, and logistic regression analysis were enrolled to do the statistical analysis. The study enrolled 332 cases: 165 cases (49.7%) in the acquaintance victim group (AV), 96 cases (28.9%) in the relative victim group (RV), and 71 cases (21.4%) in the stranger victim group (SV). The multinomial logistic regression analysis revealed that older patients were less likely to attack relatives (OR = 0.966, 95% CI = 0.944-0.990; p = 0.005), and strangers, (OR = 0.971, 95% CI = 0.944-0.998; p = 0.034). Patients who lived with others were more inclined to attack relatives (OR = 15.057, 95% CI = 3.508-64.628; p < 0.001). Additionally, employed patients were more likely to attack strangers (OR = 2.034, 95% CI = 1.036-3.994; p = 0.039). The regression equation did not include psychiatric symptoms. For RV and AV victims, the risk of death was higher compared to that of SV victims (OR = 13.778, p < 0.001; OR = 2.663, p = 0.014). In the interpersonal violence cases committed by schizophrenia patients, the victim type correlates with demographic characteristics of offenders such as living situation, age, and employment status, but not with the psychiatric symptoms. The majority of victims were acquaintances and relatives, and the relative victims having more severe injuries. In order to decrease interpersonal violence, especially violent crimes, more people, especially family members and neighbors, should be educated about symptoms of schizophrenia, the ways to communicate with the patients, and the methods for crisis management. © 2022. The Author(s).


Yong He, Yan Gu, Meiling Yu, Yan Li, Gangqin Li, Zeqing Hu. Research on interpersonal violence in schizophrenia: based on different victim types. BMC psychiatry. 2022 Mar 08;22(1):172

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PMID: 35260126

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