February 1, 2008

Violence among psychiatric patients

Psychiatric Services has just published an exciting special issue on violence among psychiatric patients, featuring some of the biggest names in the field.

First, and probably most controversial, is a heated debate looking back at the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study, which some cite as proof that discharged psychiatric patients are no more dangerous than anyone else. Facing off are the big names - John Monahan, Hank Steadman, E. Fuller Torrey, and Jonathan Stanley.

Next, there's a review of all empirical studies of violence and victimization among people with severe mental illnesses in the United States since 1990, along with a discussion of the public health implications, by the esteemed Linda Teplin and colleagues.

Then, there's a very practical article on assessing risk for violence by psychiatric patients, aptly entitled "Beyond the 'Actuarial Versus Clinical' Assessment Debate."

And, there's more - online here. The lead editorial and the abstracts for each article are free, but the full articles require a subscription, unfortunately.