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Inpatient violence in a Dutch forensic psychiatric hospital

Nienke Verstegen (Research Department, De Forensische Zorgspecialisten, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Vivienne de Vogel (Research Department, De Forensische Zorgspecialisten, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Michiel de Vries Robbé (Research Department, De Forensische Zorgspecialisten, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Martijn Helmerhorst (Van der Hoeven Kliniek, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

The Journal of Forensic Practice

ISSN: 2050-8794

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Inpatient violence can have a major impact in terms of traumatic experiences for victims and witnesses, an unsafe treatment climate, and high-financial costs. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to gain more insight into patterns of violent behavior, so that adequate preventive measures can be taken.

Design/methodology/approach

Data on inpatient violence in a Dutch forensic psychiatric hospital between 2008 and 2014 were extracted from hospital files on 503 patients.

Findings

More than half of all the patients (n=276, 54.9 percent) displayed verbal aggression on at least one occasion, whereas 27.2 percent of all patients (n=137) exhibited one or more incidents of physical violence. Female patients were responsible for more physically violent episodes than male patients. Patients admitted with a civil court order exhibited more violent behavior than patients with a criminal court order. Violent patients with a civil commitment had a significantly longer length of stay than non-violent patients with a civil commitment. More violence was found to take place on the earlier days of the week.

Originality/value

This study points at important differences between groups of forensic inpatients in frequency and type of inpatient violent behavior and in temporal factors. Interventions aimed at reducing the number of violent incidents should take these differences into account. Further research is necessary to gain more insight into the background of inpatient violence.

Keywords

Citation

Verstegen, N., de Vogel, V., de Vries Robbé, M. and Helmerhorst, M. (2017), "Inpatient violence in a Dutch forensic psychiatric hospital", The Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 102-114. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-04-2016-0020

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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