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Severe mental illness and criminal victimization: a systematic review

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Maniglio R. Severe mental illness and criminal victimization: a systematic review. Objective: 

To estimate the prevalence of criminal victimization among people with severe mental illness and to explore risk factors. Method: 

Four databases (MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, ERIC, and AMED) were searched for articles published between January 1966 and August 2007, supplemented with hand-search of reference lists from retrieved papers. The author and a Medical Doctor independently abstracted data and assessed study quality. Disagreements were resolved by consensus after review of the article and the review protocol. Results: 

Nine studies, including 5195 patients, were identified. Prevalence estimates of criminal victimization ranged from 4.3% to 35.04%. Rates of victimization among severely mentally ill persons were 2.3–140.4 times higher than those in the general population. Criminal victimization was most frequently associated with alcohol and/or illicit drug use/abuse, homelessness, more severe symptomatology, and engagement in criminal activity. Conclusion: 

Prevention and intervention programs should target high-risk groups and improve patients’ mental health and quality of life.
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Keywords: depression; psychosis; schizophrenia; severe mental illness; violence

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2009

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