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< Supporting Evidence

The Relationship Between Command Hallucinations and Violence

Dale E. McNiel, Jane P. Eisner, and Renée L. Binder
Psychiatric Services, October 2000, 51: 1288-1292.

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to describe the relationship between command hallucinations and violent behavior.

METHODS: One hundred and three psychiatric inpatients completed measures of command hallucinations, other psychotic symptoms, violent behavior, and social desirability response biases.

RESULTS: Thirty percent of the patients reported having had command hallucinations to harm others during the last year, and 22 percent of the patients reported they complied with such commands. Logistic regression analyses suggested that patients who experienced command hallucinations to harm others were more than twice as likely to be violent, even when the analysis controlled for demographic variables, history of substance abuse, and social desirability response biases.

CONCLUSIONS: The results support the clinical utility of asking about command hallucinations when assessing the risk of violence in patients with major mental disorders.

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