Prevalence and attributes of criminality in schizophrenic patients
Keywords:Prevalence, Criminality, Schizophrenia
AbstractBACKGROUND: Existing research in law and psychiatry point to schizophrenia as a risk factor for violence and offense behaviors. The present study aims to: 1) report on the prevalence and types of offensive or criminal acts in patients with schizophrenia; 2) identify attributes of
schizophrenic offenders; and 3) examine factors associated with offensive or criminal behaviors within a sample of schizophrenic offenders. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of 358 patients with schizophrenia who were admitted to a psychiatric ward in Iran between 2004 and 2008. Study data was collected using patients’ medical, criminal records, as well as via personal interview with the family member. Study variables included criminality or offensive behavior, types of schizophrenia (paranoid vs. nonparanoid), experiencing hallucination, disease onset, and patients’ demographics. RESULTS: Of the sample, 64.8% were male, 80.7% were 45 years old or younger, and 74.1% were either single or divorced. Slightly over 59 % were offenders with criminal status, of which, 9.8% were legal offenders and 48.6% were hidden offenders. The results of unadjusted logistic regression between these variables and criminality show, except for employment, marital status, and opium use, all other variables were statically associated with criminality. CONCLUSIONS: Methodological difficulties arising from this study, as well as, the role of mental health professionals, family, and legal system for prevention of violence in and by patients with schizophrenia are discussed. © 2014 KUMS, All rights reserved
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