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August 2016

Triggering Violence in Psychosis

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York
JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(8):769-770. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1348

Most patients with psychosis are not violent. Nevertheless, such patients are more likely to engage in violent behavior than are members of the general population.1 Dynamic (time-variant) modifiable risk factors for violence in patients with psychosis include comorbid alcohol and substance use disorders, nonadherence to treatment, impaired insight, impulsiveness, anger, hostility, and other positive symptoms, as well as adverse experiences such as being a target of violence.2-4 The importance of examining these factors in temporal proximity to the outcome of violence is becoming increasingly clear.4 Risk factors may present as events that are followed after a short period by violence, and are therefore interpreted as its triggers.

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