Risk of criminal victimisation in outpatients with common mental health disorders

S.C. Meijwaard, M. Kikkert, L.D. de Mooij, N.M. Lommerse, J. Peen, R.A. Schoevers, R. Van, W. de Wildt, C.L. Bockting, J.J.M. Dekker

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Background: Crime victimisation is a serious problem in psychiatric patients. However, research has focused on patients with severe mental illness and few studies exist that address victimisation in other outpatient groups, such as patients with depression. Due to large differences in methodology of the studies that address crime victimisation, a comparison of prevalence between psychiatric diagnostic groups is hard to make. Objectives of this study were to determine and compare one-year prevalence of violent and non-violent criminal victimisation among outpatients from different diagnostic psychiatric groups and to examine prevalence differences with the general population. Method: Criminal victimisation prevalence was measured in 300 outpatients living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with outpatients with depressive disorder (n = 102), substance use disorder (SUD, n = 106) and severe mental illness (SMI, n = 92) using a National Crime Victimisation Survey, and compared with a matched general population sample (n = 10865). Results: Of all outpatients, 61% reported experiencing some kind of victimisation over the past year; 33% reported violent victimisation (3.5 times more than the general population) and 36% reported property crimes (1.2 times more than the general population). Outpatients with depression (67%) and SUD (76%) were victimised more often than SMI outpatients (39%). Younger age and hostile behaviour were associated with violent victimisation, while being male and living alone were associated with non-violent victimisation. Moreover, SUD was associated with both violent and non-violent victimisation. Conclusion: Outpatients with depression, SUD, and SMI are at increased risk of victimisation compared to the general population. Furthermore, our results indicate that victimisation of violent and non-violent crimes is more common in outpatients with depression and SUD than in outpatients with SMI living independently in the community.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0128508
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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