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To identify from the literature, and to critically evaluate, all validated instruments currently available to measure self-harming behaviour in adults.
Materials and methods
Medline, Embase, PsycInfo, Health and Psychosocial Instruments and Google scholar were searched, grey literature was sought and the reference lists of relevant articles were checked to identify instruments.
A total of seven validated instruments which met our inclusion criteria were identified and data were extracted regarding each instrument's format, administration method, psychometric properties and number of items and domains included. Considerable variation was observed in the overall quality of these instruments. Fourteen other instruments were identified which did not describe their psychometric properties or had not been published and were subsequently excluded from our review.
Although many instruments were identified in our search, only a small number had been validated with published psychometric properties. Of the identified instruments, the Suicide Attempt Self-Injury Interview (SASII) appears to be the most robust and comprehensive instrument currently available. Despite the absence of psychometric data, numerous other instruments have been used in published studies, including clinical trials.
Our results highlight the pressing need for a standardized, empirically validated and versatile measure of intentional self-harming behaviour for use in both clinical and research settings. The optimum characteristics of such an instrument are discussed.
People released from prison are at higher risk of mortality from potentially preventable causes than their peers in the general population. Because most studies of this phenomenon are reliant on registry data, there is little health and behavioural information available on those at risk, hampering the development of targeted, evidence-based preventive responses. Our aim was to identify modifiable risk and protective factors for external cause and cause-specific mortality after release from prison.
We undertook a nested case–control study using data from a larger retrospective cohort study of mortality after release from prison in Queensland, Australia between 1994 and 2007. Cases were 286 individuals who had died from external causes (drug overdose, suicide, transport accidents, or violence) matched with 286 controls on sex, Indigenous status, and release date. We extracted data from detention, case-management, and prison medical records.
Factors associated with increased risk of external cause mortality included use of heroin and other opioids in the community [odds ratio (OR) = 2.20, 95% CI 1.41–3.43, p < 0.001], a prescription for antidepressants during the current prison sentence (OR = 1.94, 95% CI 1.02–3.67, p = 0.042), a history of problematic alcohol use in the community (OR = 1.54, 95% CI 1.05–2.26, p = 0.028), and having ever served two or more custodial sentences (OR = 1.51, 95% CI 1.01–2.25, p = 0.045). Being married (OR = 0.45, 95% CI 0.29–0.70, p < 0.001) was protective. Fewer predictors were associated with cause-specific mortality.
We identified several behavioural, psychosocial, and clinical markers associated with mortality from preventable causes in people released from prison. Emerging evidence points to interventions that could be targeted at those at increased risk of external cause mortality. These include treatment and harm reduction programmes (for substance use), improving transitional support programmes and continuity of care (for mental health), diversion and drug reform (for repeat incarceration) and nurturing stable relationships during incarceration. The period of imprisonment and shortly after release provides a unique opportunity to improve the long-term health of ex-prisoners and overcome the disadvantage associated with imprisonment.
Little is known about the relative extent of crime against people with
severe mental illness (SMI).
To assess the prevalence and impact of crime among people with SMI
compared with the general population.
A total of 361 psychiatric patients were interviewed using the national
crime survey questionnaire, and findings compared with those from 3138
general population controls participating in the contemporaneous national
Past-year crime was experienced by 40% of patients v.
14% of controls (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 2.8, 95% CI 2.0–3.8); and
violent assaults by 19% of patients v. 3% of controls
(adjusted OR = 5.3, 95% CI 3.1–8.8). Women with SMI had four-, ten- and
four-fold increases in the odds of experiencing domestic, community and
sexual violence, respectively. Victims with SMI were more likely to
report psychosocial morbidity following violence than victims from the
People with SMI are at greatly increased risk of crime and associated
morbidity. Violence prevention policies should be particularly focused on
people with SMI.
Domestic and sexual violence are significant public health problems but little is known about the extent to which men and women with severe mental illness (SMI) are at risk compared with the general population. We aimed to compare the prevalence and impact of violence against SMI patients and the general population.
Three hundred and three randomly recruited psychiatric patients, in contact with community services for ⩾1 year, were interviewed using the British Crime Survey domestic/sexual violence questionnaire. Prevalence and correlates of violence in this sample were compared with those from 22 606 general population controls participating in the contemporaneous 2011/12 national crime survey.
Past-year domestic violence was reported by 27% v. 9% of SMI and control women, respectively [odds ratio (OR) adjusted for socio-demographics, aOR 2.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7–4.0], and by 13% v. 5% of SMI and control men, respectively (aOR 1.6, 95% CI 1.0–2.8). Past-year sexual violence was reported by 10% v. 2.0% of SMI and control women respectively (aOR 2.9, 95% CI 1.4–5.8). Family (non-partner) violence comprised a greater proportion of overall domestic violence among SMI than control victims (63% v. 35%, p < 0.01). Adulthood serious sexual assault led to attempted suicide more often among SMI than control female victims (53% v. 3.4%, p < 0.001).
Compared to the general population, patients with SMI are at substantially increased risk of domestic and sexual violence, with a relative excess of family violence and adverse health impact following victimization. Psychiatric services, and public health and criminal justice policies, need to address domestic and sexual violence in this at-risk group.
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