Characteristics of psychiatric in-patients who engage in assualtive behaviour in Mathari Hospital, Nairobi
Othieno-Nyaura, Edwin S P
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Literature on assaultive behaviour by psychiatric in patients was reviewed. A total of 142 violent incidents perpetrated by 68 males and 74 female patients were studied over a period of 3 months. Of the total incidents of assault 98.54% resulted in severity I injuries as per Fottrell (1980) rating scale. The diagnosis of chronic schizophrenia featured in 50 (35.21%) of the patients with an almost equal distribution among the males and female. These patients were severely impaired on such psychotic symptoms as delusions, hallucinations and inappropriate affect. Depressives who turned assaultive were almost exclusively females. Violence appeared to be a preoccupation of the 18-24 years age group among the male patients studied, while among the female patients the 35-44 years age group were over represented. Assaultive behaviour in relation to length of hospital confinement showed a bimodal distribution. Most assaultive behaviour occurred during the first two weeks of admission, followed by a relatively quiet two weeks and then another spike during the fourth week after admission.