Schizophrenia and violence: study in a general psychiatric hospital with HCR-20 and MOAS

Abstract Objective: This preliminary study aimed to identify and compare characteristics related to violent behavior in inpatients with schizophrenia at a general psychiatric hospital using the Historical, Clinical, and Risk Management 20 (HCR-20), the Modified Overt Aggression Scale (MOAS), and sociodemographic data. Method: Violent and nonviolent participants were selected based on psychiatric admission reports. Participants with reports of aggressive behavior and HCR-20 total score ≥ 21 upon admission were assigned to the violent patient group. Participants without aggressive behavior and with HCR-20 total score < 21 upon admission were assigned to the nonviolent patient group. The MOAS was applied to characterize the degree of severity of the violent behavior. Results: HCR-20 and its subscales were effective in differentiating between the violent and nonviolent participant groups. Twelve of the 20 HCR-20 items were useful for distinguishing between the groups, although total HCR-20 scores were more reliable when applied to the nonviolent patient group. The MOAS did not show high degrees of severity for the types of aggression observed in the participants. Conclusion: HCR-20 was useful and reliable for distinguishing between violent and nonviolent patients with schizophrenia in this clinical psychiatric setting. Item analysis identified the most relevant characteristics in each group. The use of the HCR-20 in clinical psychiatric settings should be encouraged.