Symptom Profile of Psychiatric Patients With Psychosis or Psychotic Mood Disorder in Prison

J. van Beek*, P. J. Vuijk, J. M. Harte, E. J.A. Scherder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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There is evidence that psychiatric patients with psychotic or manic disorders who are incarcerated suffer from the same symptoms as psychiatric patients who are treated in the community. There are also indications that their symptoms might be more severe. The aim of this study was to examine the severity of psychotic and manic symptoms, as well as to collect information about the emotional functioning of patients admitted to a prison psychiatric ward. Incarcerated patients with a diagnosis of psychotic or a manic disorder were examined with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale–Expanded (BPRS-E). With the scores of 140 assessments, a symptom profile was created using the domains of the BPRS-E. This profile was compared with the clinical profile of three nonincarcerated patient groups described in literature with a diagnosis in the same spectrum. We found high scores on positive and manic psychotic symptoms and hostility, and low scores on guilt, depression, and negative symptoms. High scores on manic and psychotic symptoms are often accompanied by violent behavior. Low scores on guilt, depression, and negative symptoms could be indicative of externalizing coping skills. These characteristics could complicate treatment in the community and warrant further research along with clinical consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4158-4173
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number13
Early online date9 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • incarcerated psychiatric patients
  • prison
  • violence


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