Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 85, Issue 3, pp 303–317

Characteristics of International Assaultive Psychiatric Patients: Review of Published Findings, 2000–2012


    • Harvard Medical School
    • Department of PsychiatryCambridge Health Alliance
  • Grace Wyshak
    • Harvard Medical School
  • Joseph J. Tecce
    • Boston College
  • Georgina J. Flannery
    • Newton Free Library
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11126-014-9295-5

Cite this article as:
Flannery, R.B., Wyshak, G., Tecce, J.J. et al. Psychiatr Q (2014) 85: 303. doi:10.1007/s11126-014-9295-5


In international reviews of psychiatric inpatient violence, one study of all types of patient violence found hostility, involuntary admission, and longer hospital stays associated with violence. A second study of comparison-group papers of patient assaults found younger males with schizophrenia, past violence, and substance abuse assaultive. The present review of raw assault data studies assessed characteristics of assaultive patients worldwide. It was hypothesized that patients with schizophrenia would present greatest assault risk. There were three analyses: International/no American studies (reviewed earlier), European studies, and merged International/American studies. Results revealed that male and female patients with schizophrenia, affective disorders, personality disorders, and other diagnoses presented greatest worldwide risk. Results partially support earlier findings. Given that individual institutional studies in this review reported significant assailant characteristics, a second finding is the absence of most of these institutional characteristics in this international review. Possible explanations for findings and a detailed methodological review are presented.


AssaultsAssault characteristicsCommunity settingsInpatient settingInternational psychiatric patientsRepetitive assaults

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014