A 10-year follow-up study of violent victimization in first episode psychosis : risk and protective factors
Johannes H. Langeveld, Stål Bjørkly, Julie Horgen Evensen, Inge Joa, Jan Olav Johannessen, Tor Ketil Larsen, Ingrid Melle, Stein E. Opjordsmoen Ilner, Jan Ivar Røssberg, Bjørn Rishovd Rund, Erik Simonsen, Per Jørgen Wiggen Vaglum, Wenche Hegelstad, Tom McGlashan, Svein Friis
Violent victimization in persons with severe mental illness has long-term adverse consequences. Little is known
about the long-term prevalence of victimization in first episode psychosis, or about factors affecting victimization
throughout the course of illness.
To assess the prevalence of violent victimization during a 10-year follow-up period in a group of first episode
psychosis (FEP) patients, and to identify early predictors and risk factors for victimization.
A prospective design was used with comprehensive assessments of violent victimization, treatment variables
and functioning at baseline and during 10-year follow-up. A clinical epidemiological sample of FEP patients (n=
298) was studied.
FEP patients in our study were at a 3.5 times greater risk of victimization as compared to the normal population.
During the 10-year follow-up period, 23% of subjects fell victim to one or more violent assaults.
Victimized patients were younger and reported less occupational activity. At 10-year follow-up, victimization
was associated with more concomitant drug use, alcohol misuse and violent behavior, but not with a worse
clinical or functional outcome.
Treatment programs should focus on risk factors for victimization and develop behavioral alternatives to
mitigate risk in FEP patients.