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”Violence among adolescent psychiatric inpatients in a Norwegian closed ward”

Conference proceedings of the International Conference on Violence in the Health Sector. 2010 | 2005


The present study investigates the frequency and seriousness of incidents of violent behaviour
among 89 adolescents (41 girls and 48 boys) aged 12 to 18 hospitalised in a nation-wide
specialized psychiatric ward between 1988 and 1998. A total of 27 (30%) of the 89 subjects
had committed a total of 164 violent episodes. One in four episodes was of a serious nature.
Five patients were involved in 58 % of the episodes. Having committed 2 or 3 violent
episodes appeared to signal continued use of violence. No systematic gender differences were
found. Only depression and paranoia were significantly correlated with violence during
hospitalisation. Furthermore, violent episodes prior to hospitalisation did not predict violence
after admission to hospital. The authors suggest that intensive treatment should be instigated
after the second or third violent episode in order to significantly reduce the total number of
incidents of violence and of serious violence.