We are pleased to announce that the results of the EU-VIORMED study have been published in Psychological Medicine (2020 Impact Factor: 7.723) on September 13, 2021.
The study examined and compared the characteristics of a group of forensic psychiatric patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disorders and a history of significant interpersonal violence (n=221) to a group of patients with the same diagnosis but no lifetime history of interpersonal violence (n=177). The most common primary diagnosis in both groups was schizophrenia (76.4%). Forensic patients more often met criteria for a comorbid personality disorder, almost always antisocial personality disorder (49.1% vs. 0%).
Forensic patients were more likely to have been exposed to severe violence in childhood. Education was a protective factor against future violence as well as higher levels of disability, lower social functioning and poorer performances in cognitive processing speed tasks, perhaps as proxy markers of the negative syndrome of schizophrenia. Forensic patients were typically already known to services and in treatment at the time of their index offence, but often poorly compliant.
The aim of the EU-VIORMED project is to support the harmonization of forensic psychiatric care pathways and treatment patterns across Europe in order to improve the quality of forensic psychiatric care across member states. In this sense, the study highlights the need for general services to stratify patients under their care for established violence risk factors, to monitor patients for poor compliance and to intervene promptly in order to prevent severe violent incidents in the most clinically vulnerable.
The article is available as online content, please see https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291721003433.