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November 2, 1984

Assaults Within Psychiatric Facilities

Author Affiliations

Rush Medical College Chicago

JAMA. 1984;252(17):2479-2480. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350170071029

"Violence has always been a problem in mental hospitals, but the discipline of psychiatry has been curiously indifferent to it." From this opening statement in the preface, Lion and Reid proceed to deal with this paradox. The fact that assaults in psychiatric hospitals and units (as well as in universities and general hospitals) are underreported is compellingly presented. This volume can only help make the mental health workplace more safe and more therapeutic. However many professionals and patients are injured (a figure largely unknown), it is too many. More reports are now appearing in the literature.1,2

The editors have divided the subject into three sections: "Phenomenology and Epidemiology," "Policy Issues," and "Management." The 20 chapters are written by professionals of experience and thoughtfulness. Whether it be assaults by patients in a state hospital system, public mental hospital, general hospital, or psychiatric unit, in many ways, there is a unifying