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The Relationship of Crowding and Aggressive Behavior on a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit
Tom Palmstierna; Bernard Huitfeldt; Börje Wistedt
Psychiatric Services 1991; doi:
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Psychiatric Clinics in the Arboga Section of Västmanland County, Sweden

Department of Biostatistics at Pharmacia LEO Therapeuticals in Uppsala, Sweden

Psychiatric Institution at the Karolinska Institute at Danderyd Hospital in Danderyd, Sweden

1991 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

During a 25-week period, all incidents of aggressive behavior in a 19-bed psychiatric acute care unit were systematically recorded using the Staff Observation Aggression Scale. Forty-seven of the 163 patients admitted to the unit were aggressive on 119 occasions. Of these incidents, 100 were physical attacks on another person, and 95 were perpetrated by 23 patients. The patients were predominantly aggressive without visible provocation or were provoked by staff's denying a request. An increased number of patients on the ward significantly increased the likelihood of aggressive behavior, especially by patients with schizophrenia or schizophreniform disorder.

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