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For the first time ever, a study unveils the prevalence of aggressive behaviours in schizophrenia

By 25 de February de 2009November 18th, 2020No Comments
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For the first time ever, a study unveils the prevalence of aggressive behaviours in schizophrenia

A study led by the Psychiatry Area of the Oviedo University Medical School () and the Centre for Biomedical Research in Mental Health Networks (), and in which Psyncro – a company located at the Barcelona Science Park (PCB) which carries out related clinical research- has participated, has enabled the identification of aggressive behaviour in non-admitted schizophrenic patients who are under pharmacological treatment thanks to a quick and simple assessment protocol. The work is published in the last issue of the Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica magazine and is titled «Violence among schizophrenia out-patients compliant with medication: prevalence and associated factors» (). It has been carried out with the sponsorship and participation of Sanofi-Aventis.

Internationally reknowned scientists in the field of mental health have collaborated in this study, such as university professor Julio Bobes-Garcia, from the Psychiatry Unit of the Oviedo University School of Medicine and president of the Spanish Society of Biological Psychiatry -the main author of the article- and Celso Arango –world expert on violence and aggressiveness in schizophrenia- from the Psychiatry Unit of the Gregorio Marañón University General Hospital and director of CIBERSAM, the only national network for mental disorders. Oscar Fillat, the manager of Sanofi –Aventi’s Central Nervous System and Internal Medicine Area has also participated.

The main objective of this work has been to analyse the prevalence of aggressive behaviour and associated factors in a total of 895 out-patients diagnosed with schizophrenia within the Spanish healthcare system and who are undergoing pharmacological treatment for their corresponding disorders. The contribution of Psyncro and Sanofi-Aventis to this research project –in which 354 researchers and 283 public mental health centres pertaining to fourteen autonomous communities have participated,- has been to carry out a methodological review of this topic and propose the necessary methodology for the design of the study in order to assess the effects of these kinds of behaviours on pragmatic variables related with the daily life of the patients themselves.

Results are quite relevant: 5% of follow-up patients presented aggressive behaviours of different intensitites within the week prior to the follow-up visit- even though they were compliant with and seemed satisfied with their prescribed medication, within the limitation of low therapeutic compliance found in schizophrenia. Most episodes were verbal (44%), followed by physical violence directed against objects (29%), violence directed against others (19%) and violence directed against one-self (8%). The work also demonstrated that recent episodes of any intensity were more likely to occurr in patients with a history of violence and recurrences within the last year, and with low satisfaction with their treatment.

The study suggests that current treatment of schizophrenia (generally with second generation antipsychotic drugs) does not completely eliminate the risk of aggressive episodes –althouth they are mainly verbal- and that, as treatments improve, this 5% will be reduced.