Answer D. 50%
Findings indicate that more than 50% of patients hospitalized for a first episode of schizophrenia who had threatened others had displayed overt signs of illness for over a year.1
Keep in mind the following when working with patients who are agitated:
- Violence in patients with schizophrenia can be prevented if the patient is carefully monitored—before, during, and after hospitalization
- Collaboration with the patient is crucial
- Treatment personnel should be capable of handling difficult situations
- Staff should respect protocols
- Avoid any personal reaction to things that the agitated patient may do or say
- The fewer the stimuli the better
- When possible, the clinician should ascertain whether there is any substance and/or alcohol abuse
- After discharge, there is an increase of violence risk
- Medication-nonadherence may run the risk of agitation and possible aggression
For related information, please see “Aggression and Impulsivity in Schizophrenia,” by Maurizio Pompili, MD, PhD and Andrea Fiorillo, MD, PhD, on which this quiz was based.
1. Humphreys MS, Johnstone EC, MacMillan JF, Taylor PJ. Dangerous behavior preceding first admissions for schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry. 1992; 161:501-505.