Prevalence of violent victimisation in severe mental illness

Elizabeth Walsh*, Paul Moran, Charles Scott, Kwame McKenzie, Tom Burns, Francis Creed, Peter Tyrer, Robin M. Murray, Tom Fahy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

187 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Since de-institutionalisation, much has been written about the risk posed to the community by those with severe mental illness. However, violent victimisation of people with mental illnesses has received little attention. Aims: To establish the I-year prevalence of violent victimisation in community-dwelling patients with psychosis and to identify the socio-demographic and clinical correlates of violent victimisation. Method: A total of 691 subjects with established psychotic disorders were interviewed. The past-year prevalence of violent victimisation was estimated and compared with general population figures. Those who reported being violently victimised were compared with those who did not on a range of social and clinical characteristics. Results: Sixteen per cent of patients reported being violently victimised. Victims of violence were significantly more likely to report severe psychopathological symptoms, homelessness, substance misuse and previous violent behaviour and were more likely to have a comorbid personality disorder. Conclusions: Those with psychosis are at considerable risk of violent victimisation in the community. Victimisation experience should be recorded in the standard psychiatric interview.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-238
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberSEPT.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2003


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