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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Sociodemographic, Legal, and Clinical Profiles of Female Forensic Inpatients in Karnataka: A Retrospective Study

Guru S Gowda, Sai Komal, Tarasingh N Sanjay, Saumya Mishra, Channaveerachari N Kumar, Suresh B Math
Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine 2019, 41 (2): 138-143
30983661

Background: Forensic patients are often admitted to psychiatric hospitals without any details of illness or treatment. They pose a unique challenge for clinical services in the context of diagnosis, management, and particularly legal issues.

Materials and Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review using a structured data-extraction tool. A total of 23 female forensic inpatients were admitted under the Department of Psychiatry from January 2006 to June 2016. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 31.3 ± 7.9 years. In total, 82.6% of them were married, 87% were from a nuclear family, and 78.3% were from an urban background. Totally, 73.9% were referred from prison and 26.1% from the court. However, 73.9% were referred for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment and 21.7% for assessment of fitness to stand trial. Moreover, 47.8% had an alleged charge of murder (of killing close family members). A total of 30.4% had schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, and 47.8% had a mood disorder. The mean duration of inpatient care was 6.2 ± 7.4 weeks, and 87% had shown considerable clinical improvement at the time of discharge.

Conclusions: The majority of female forensic patients were young adults from nuclear families. They had mood disorders, schizophrenia, and other psychotic disorders. They were referred primarily for treatment purposes. Prospective studies are required for a better characterization of the relationship between crime and psychiatric disorders.

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