A survey of female patients in high security psychiatric care in Scotland

LDG Thomson, JP Bogue, Martin Humphreys, EC Johnstone

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    10 Citations (Scopus)


    BACKGROUND: The State Hospital, Carstairs, is the sole high security psychiatric facility for Scotland and Northern Ireland. METHOD: This study compares the female (n = 28) and male (n = 213) patients resident there between 1992 and 1993 using data derived from case-note reviews and interviews with patients and staff. RESULTS: Nearly three-quarters of both the male and female populations had a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia, and secondary diagnoses of substance abuse and antisocial personality disorder were common. Female patients were more frequently admitted from other psychiatric hospitals, had less serious index offences and more minor previous convictions, and were less likely to be subject to a restriction order. They had more often experienced depressive symptoms and had significantly greater histories of self-harm, physical and sexual abuse. At interview, nearly three-quarters had active delusions and over half had recently behaved in an aggressive manner. Almost 90% were said not to require the security of the State Hospital. CONCLUSIONS: It was concluded that mental illness and adverse social circumstances had combined to create a very disadvantaged group of women in high security psychiatric care in Scotland. As a group these women were inappropriately placed and their requirement was for intensive, rather than high security psychiatric care.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)86-93
    Number of pages8
    JournalCriminal Behaviour and Mental Health
    Issue number2
    Early online date1 Jan 2006
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


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