Sociodemographic, clinical and childhood correlates of adult violent victimisation in a large, national survey sample of people with psychotic disorders

Vera A Morgan, Frank Morgan, Cherrie Galletly, Giulietta Valuri, Sonal Shah, Assen Jablensky
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 2016, 51 (2): 269-79

PURPOSE: Our aim was to establish the 12-month prevalence of violent victimisation in a large sample of adults with psychotic disorders (N = 1825), compare this to population estimates, and examine correlates of violent victimisation.

METHODS: The Australian national psychosis survey used a two-phase design to draw a representative sample of adults aged 18-64 years with psychotic disorders. Interview questions included psychopathology, cognition, sociodemographics, substance use, criminality, and childhood and adult victimisation. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the independent contributions of known risk factors, clinical profile and childhood abuse, on risk of violent victimisation. Differences between men and women were examined.

RESULTS: Among adults with psychotic disorders, 12-month prevalence of any victimisation was 38.6% (males 37.4%, females 40.5%), and of violent victimisation was 16.4% (males 15.2%; females 18.3%). Violent victimisation was 4.8 times higher than the population rate of 3.4% (6.5 times higher for women; 3.7 times higher for men). Significant correlates of violent victimisation were established sociodemographic and behavioural risk factors predicting victimisation in the general community: younger age, residence in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, homelessness, lifetime alcohol abuse/dependence, and prior criminal offending. Among clinical variables, only mania and self-harm remained significant in the multivariable model. Childhood abuse was independently associated with violent victimisation.

CONCLUSIONS: Rates of violent victimisation are high for people with psychotic disorders, especially women, compared to population rates. Greater exposure to sociodemographic and behavioural risks may render them particularly vulnerable to victimisation. Social cognition as a valuable treatment target is discussed.

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