Prevalence and correlates of aggressive behavior in psychiatric inpatient populations

Hunor Girasek, Vanda Adel Nagy, Szabolcs Fekete, Gabor S. Ungvari, Gabor Gazdag

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


Aggressive behavior in patients with psychiatric disorders is attracting increasing research interest. One reason for this is that psychiatric patients are generally considered more likely to be aggressive, which raises a related question of whether diagnoses of psychiatric disorders predict the prevalence of aggressive behavior. Predicting aggression in psychiatric wards is crucial, because aggressive behavior not only endangers the safety of both patients and staff, but it also extends the hospitalization times. Predictions of aggressive behavior also need careful attention to ensure effective treatment planning. This literature review explores the relationship between aggressive behavior and psychiatric disorders and syndromes (dementia, psychoactive substance use, acute psychotic disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, personality disorders and intellectual disability). The prevalence of aggressive behavior and its underlying risk factors, such as sex, age, comorbid psychiatric disorders, socioeconomic status, and history of aggressive behavior are discussed as these are the components that mostly contribute to the increased risk of aggressive behavior. Measurement tools commonly used to predict and detect aggressive behavior and to differentiate between different forms of aggressive behavior in both research and clinical practice are also reviewed. Successful aggression prevention programs can be developed based on the current findings of the correlates of aggressive behavior in psychiatric patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalWorld Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2022


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