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Patients with a severe mental illness (SMI) are more likely to experience
victimisation than the general population.
To examine the prevalence of victimisation in people with SMI, and the
relationship between symptoms, treatment facility and indices of
substance use/misuse and perpetration, in comparison with the general
Victimisation was assessed among both randomly selected patients with SMI
(n = 216) and the general population
Compared with the general population, a high prevalence of violent
victimisation was found among the SMI group (22.7% v.
8.5%). Compared with out-patients and patients in a sheltered housing
facility, in-patients were most often victimised (violent crimes: 35.3%;
property crimes: 47.1%). Risk factors among the SMI group for violent
victimisation included young age and disorganisation, and risk factors
for property crimes included being an in-patient, disorganisation and
cannabis use. The SMI group were most often assaulted by someone they
Caregivers should be aware that patients with SMI are at risk of violent
victimisation. Interventions need to be developed to reduce this
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