A Caqueo-Urízar, G Fond, A Urzúa, L Boyer and DR Williams,
Schizophrenia research, Dec 2016
The aim of the present study was (i) to assess the prevalence of Violent Behavior in Schizophrenia (VBS) in a sample of community-dwelling outpatients in three middle-income countries of Latin America and (ii) to determine the clinical and socio-demographical risk factors associated with VBS and aggression level.The study included 253 stabilized outpatients with schizophrenia and their principal caregivers from 3 public ambulatory psychiatric care centers in Bolivia (N=83), Chile (N=85), and Peru (N=85). VBS was defined according to the Overt Aggression Scale (OAS) score and the aggression level was measured by the aggression subscore of the Agitated Behavior Scale of Corrigan. We collected socio-demographic information and clinical data. Multiple linear and logistic regressions were performed to determine which variables were associated with VBS and aggression level.The prevalence of VBS differed statistically between the three countries (p<0.001) with 3.5% in Chile, 14.6% in Peru and 55.4% in Bolivia. After adjustment for confounding factors, VBS was associated with a younger age, a more severe psychotic symptomatology, a lower family income and unemployment. After adjustment for confounding factors, aggression level was associated with a more severe psychotic symptomatology, a lower family income, a younger age at illness onset and higher number of hospitalizations in the last 3years.These results may guide future health policies to specifically provide social support and rehabilitation care to VBS patients in middle-income countries, including psychoeducation and a more integrated work between the treating medical team and the social workers.