Predicting inpatient aggression by self-reported impulsivity in forensic psychiatric patients
Number of pages
SourceCriminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 26, 3, (2016), pp. 161-173
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
Background: Empirical knowledge of 'predictors' of physical inpatient aggression may provide staff with tools to prevent aggression or minimise its consequences. Aim: To test the value of a self-reported measure of impulsivity for predicting inpatient aggression. Methods: Self-report measures of different domains of impulsivity were obtained using the Urgency, Premeditation, Perseverance, Sensation seeking, Positive urgency (UPPS-P) impulsive behaviour scale with all 74 forensic psychiatric inpatients in one low-security forensic hospital. Aggressive incidents were measured using the Social Dysfunction and Aggression Scale (SDAS). The relationship between UPPS-P subscales and the number of weeks in which violent behaviour was observed was investigated by Poisson regression. Results: The impulsivity domain labelled ‘negative urgency’ (NU), in combination with having a personality disorder, predicted the number of weeks in which physical aggression was observed by psychiatric nurses. NU also predicted physical aggression within the first 12 weeks of admission. Conclusions: and implications for practice The results indicate that NU, which represents a patient's inability to cope with rejection, disappointments or other undesired feelings, is associated with a higher likelihood of becoming violent while an inpatient. This specific coping deficit should perhaps be targeted more intensively in therapy. Self-reported NU may also serve as a useful adjunct to other risk assessment tools and as an indicator of change in violence risk.
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