Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stranger Homicide By People With Schizophrenia Is Rare -- And Unpredictable

Date:
October 12, 2009
Source:
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Summary:
Homicide of strangers by people with schizophrenia is so rare that is impossible to predict who might offend or when it might happen, say researchers. More than half of offenders in the study had never been treated for schizophrenia -- earlier treatment for the first episode of psychosis and good quality care could prevent some homicides, the study concludes.

A study initiated by a team of Sydney researchers published October 12 in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin shows that homicides of strangers by people diagnosed with schizophrenia are exceptionally rare events.

Related Articles


The study is one of a series of studies of homicide by the mentally ill by two senior lecturers in psychiatry at the University of New South Wales, Dr Olav Nielssen at St Vincents Hospital and Dr Matthew Large at Prince of Wales. This study is an international collaboration with researchers in Canada, Finland and the Netherlands. An international multicentre study was necessary as there were so few stranger homicides by people with mental illness in NSW in the last 15 years.

The study calculated a rate of stranger homicide by those with schizophrenia of one in 14 million population per year in advanced countries. It also compared the characteristics of 42 patients who killed strangers with a matched sample of patients who killed family members. The stranger homicide offenders were more likely to be the homeless and to have a history of antisocial conduct. The victims were more likely to be males and the offences rarely occurred in the victim's home or workplace. More than half of the subjects in both groups had never received treatment for schizophrenia.

"The lack of any particular distinguishing features and the extremely low base rate means that it would be impossible to predict who might commit this sort of offence and when they might occur" said Dr Nielssen. "However, most of the patients in the study were not receiving treatment, and providing earlier treatment to first episode patients, and a good standard of care to all patients with established illness could prevent some of these tragic events".

"What the paper shows, more than anything else, is that the public fear of the mentally ill is completely misplaced" said Dr Large. "These events are so rare that they are almost impossible to study, yet the fear of serious violence by the mentally ill is a major cause of stigma".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Olav Nielssen, Dominique Bourget, Taina Laajasalo, Marieke Liem, Alain Labelle, Helina Hakkanen-Nyholm, Frans Koenraadt, and Matthew M. Large. Homicide of Strangers by People with a Psychotic Illness. Schizophrenia Bulletin, October 12, 2009 DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbp112

Cite This Page:

European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology. "Stranger Homicide By People With Schizophrenia Is Rare -- And Unpredictable." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091012084214.htm>.
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology. (2009, October 12). Stranger Homicide By People With Schizophrenia Is Rare -- And Unpredictable. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091012084214.htm
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology. "Stranger Homicide By People With Schizophrenia Is Rare -- And Unpredictable." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091012084214.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 3, 2015) Super Bowl champions Sidney Rice and Steve Weatherford donate their brains, post-mortem, to scientific research into repetitive brain trauma. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Newsy (Mar. 3, 2015) Researchers found an abnormal protein associated with Alzheimer&apos;s disease in the brains of 20-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins