To gain insight into the behavior of a group of personality-disordered patients and a group of chronically psychotic patients during their stay in a Dutch forensic psychiatric hospital, data on these patients were collected biannually for seven years. Three aspects of the patients' behavior were examined: the prediction of institutional behavior shortly after admission, changes in the patients' behavior on the ward during their stay in hospital, and the prediction of these changes. In the personality-disordered patients, observed irritation/anger and aggressive behavior on the ward turned out to be positively related to psychopathy, the PCL-R lifestyle and antisocial facets, and the neuroticism domain. A positive relationship was also found between aggressive behavior on the ward and trait anger. In the chronically psychotic patients, a positive relationship was found between irritation/anger and the PCL-R interpersonal and lifestyle facet. During a stay of three years, the aggressive behavior of both patient subgroups, which was already low at the start, did not decrease further, but their prosocial behavior increased. In the personality-disordered patients, relatively high scores on the antisocial facet of the PCL-R indicated an increase in prosocial behavior, whereas in the chronically psychotic patients no relationship was found between any PCL-R facet and behavior change. Effect studies on treatment programs for forensic psychiatric inpatients have to contend with the problem of a low base rate of institutional aggression. Therefore, we advise that such studies focus not only on a decrease in negative behaviors but also on an increase in positive behaviors.

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The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology (Print)
Department of Psychology

Hornsveld, R., Kraaimaat, F., Bouwmeester, S., Polak, M., & Zwets, A. (2014). Behavior on the ward of personality-disordered inpatients and chronically psychotic inpatients during a three-year stay in a Dutch forensic psychiatric hospital. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology (Print). doi:10.1080/14789949.2014.947308