[Hpn] OT: Study: Severely mentally ill more likely victims than perpetrators of violence; Abstract & Press Release

Morgan W. Brown Morgan W. Brown" <morganbrown@gmail.com
Tue, 2 Aug 2005 07:09:45 -0700

Possibly Off-Topic; yet still related

-------Forwarded FYI-------

Teplin LA, McClelland GM, Abram KM, Weiner DA. Crime Victimization in
Adults with Severe Mental Illness: Comparison with the National Crime
Victimization Survey. Archives of General Psychiatry. (Vol. 62 No. 8,
August 2005; 62:911-921)

Study Abstract:

Crime Victimization in Adults With Severe Mental Illness
Comparison With the National Crime Victimization Survey

Linda A. Teplin, PhD; Gary M. McClelland, PhD; Karen M. Abram, PhD;
Dana A. Weiner, PhD

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005;62:911-921.

Context  Since deinstitutionalization, most persons with severe mental
illness (SMI) now live in the community, where they are at great risk
for crime victimization.

Objectives  To determine the prevalence and incidence of crime
victimization among persons with SMI by sex, race/ethnicity, and age,
and to compare rates with general population data (the National Crime
Victimization Survey), controlling for income and demographic
differences between the samples.

Design  Epidemiologic study of persons in treatment. Independent
master's-level clinical research interviewers administered the
National Crime Victimization Survey to randomly selected patients
sampled from 16 randomly selected mental health agencies.

Setting  Sixteen agencies providing outpatient, day, and residential
treatment to persons with SMI in Chicago, Ill.

Participants  Randomly selected, stratified sample of 936 patients
aged 18 or older (483 men, 453 women) who were African American (n =
329), non-Hispanic white (n = 321), Hispanic (n = 270), or other
race/ethnicity (n = 22). The comparison group comprised 32 449
participants in the National Crime Victimization Survey.

Main Outcome Measure  National Crime Victimization Survey, developed
by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Results  More than one quarter of persons with SMI had been victims of
a violent crime in the past year, a rate more than 11 times higher
than the general population rates even after controlling for
demographic differences between the 2 samples (P<.001). The annual
incidence of violent crime in the SMI sample (168.2 incidents per 1000
persons) is more than 4 times higher than the general population rates
(39.9 incidents per 1000 persons) (P<.001). Depending on the type of
violent crime (rape/sexual assault, robbery, assault, and their
subcategories), prevalence was 6 to 23 times greater among persons
with SMI than among the general population.

Conclusions  Crime victimization is a major public health problem
among persons with SMI who are treated in the community. We recommend
directions for future research, propose modifications in public
policy, and suggest how the mental health system can respond to reduce
victimization and its consequences.

Author Affiliations: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill.


Public release date: 1-Aug-2005

Contact: Elizabeth Crown
Northwestern University

Severely mentally ill more likely victims than perpetrators of violence
More than one-fourth of individuals with severe mental illness were
victims of violent crime in the past year, almost 12 times general
population rates, according to a study in the August issue of Archives
of General Psychiatry.
Depending on the type of violent crime (rape/sexual assault, robbery
and assault), prevalence was six to 23 times greater among persons
with severe mental illness than among the general population, said
lead author Linda A. Teplin, Owen L. Coon Professor of Psychiatry and
Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of

In addition, the annual incidence of violent crime in persons with
severe mental illness who live in the community is more than four
times higher than that in the general population, said Teplin, who is
director of the Psycho-Legal Studies Program at Feinberg.

Teplin and her colleagues administered the National Crime
Victimization Survey (NCVS) to 936 randomly selected patients from 16
outpatient, day or residential mental health agencies in Chicago, and
compared results with those of the 32,450 participants in the annual
NCVS conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Justice

Research has shown that individuals with mental disorders who live in
the community are a vulnerable population at high risk for becoming
victims of crime. Symptoms associated with severe mental illness, such
as disorganized thought processes, impulsivity and poor planning and
problem solving may compromise one's ability to perceive risks and
protect oneself, Teplin and colleagues suggested.

Other factors correlated with victimization, including substance
abuse, conflicted social relationships, poverty and homelessness, also
are common among persons with severe mental illness, the authors said.

"People associate mental disorder with violence. We found that crime
and mental disorder are linked, but not in the way people think.
Persons with severe mental disorders are terribly vulnerable to
victimization," Teplin and co-investigators said.

"Since deinstitutionalization in the mid-1960s, people with severe
mental illness have had no choice but to live in the community. But we
have denied them basic needs, such as safe housing, supportive
services and adequate mental health treatment," Teplin said.

Teplin and colleagues propose that mental health treatment include
systematic screening and monitoring persons for victimization,
skill-based prevention programs to help these individuals learn to
minimize risks and interventions to reduce revictimization.

At the policy level, they call for building collaborative
relationships between the mental health and criminal justice systems
and advocacy.

"People don't think of crime victimization as a health disparity. But
crime victimization disproportionately affects persons with severe
mental disorder, especially racial and ethnic minorities. Moreover,
many persons with severe mental illness are poor and homeless, adding
to their risk," the authors said.

Teplin's co-researchers were Gary M. McClelland, research assistant
professor; Karen M. Abram, assistant professor; and Dana A. Weiner,
research assistant professor, department of psychiatry and behavioral
sciences at Feinberg.



**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is
distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior
interest in receiving this type of information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only.**


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Morgan W. Brown
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