Monitoring and predicting the risk of violence in residential facilities. No difference between patients with history or with no history of violence

Giovanni de Girolamo, Chiara Buizza, Davide Sisti, Clarissa Ferrari, Viola Bulgari, Laura Iozzino, Maria Elena Boero, Giuseppe Cristiano, Alessandra De Francesco, Gian Marco Giobbio, Paolo Maggi, Giuseppe Rossi, Beatrice Segalini, Valentina Candini, Suor Andreose, Pasquale Basso, Rossella Beneduce, Pietro Bertolotti, Vanda Braida, Marina BonelliFanny Bongiorno, Riccardo Bussi, Elisa Castagno, Fabio Dominicis, Loredana Ghersi, Stefania Greppo, Alessandro Jaretti Sodano, Massimo Leporatti, Eleonora Lo Presti, Valeria Milone, Fausto Panigada, Livia Pasquadibisceglie, Danilo Rigamonti, Luciana Rillosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Most people with mental disorders are not violent. However, the lack of specific studies in this area and recent radical changes in Italy, including the closure of six Forensic Mental Hospitals, has prompted a more detailed investigation of patients with aggressive behaviour. Aims: To compare socio-demographic, clinical and treatment-related characteristics of long-term inpatients with a lifetime history of serious violence with controls; to identify predictors of verbal and physical aggressive behaviour during 1-year follow-up. Methods: In a prospective cohort study, patients living in Residential Facilities (RFs) with a lifetime history of serious violence were assessed with a large set of standardized instruments and compared to patients with no violent history. Patients were evaluated bi-monthly with MOAS in order to monitor any aggressive behaviour. Results: The sample included 139 inpatients, 82 violent and 57 control subjects; most patients were male. The bi-monthly monitoring during the 1-year follow-up did not show any statistically significant differences in aggressive behaviour rates between the two groups. The subscale explaining most of the MOAS total score was aggression against objects, although verbal aggression was the most common pattern. Furthermore, verbal aggression was significantly associated with aggression against objects and physical aggression. Conclusions: Patients with a history of violence in RFs, where treatment and clinical supervision are available, do not show higher rates of aggressiveness compared to patients with no lifetime history of violence. Since verbal aggression is associated with more severe forms of aggression, prompt intervention is warranted to reduce the risk of escalation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Mental disorders
  • Recidivism
  • Residential facilities
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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