Aggression is a major concern in psychiatric inpatient care. Variations in study designs, settings, populations and data collection methods render comparisons of the prevalence of aggressive behavior in high-risk settings difficult. We proposed to estimate the pooled prevalence of aggression among inpatients with schizophrenia in China.Methods:
Reports on aggressive behaviour involving physical contact or risks of interpersonal violence, in schizophrenia in Chinese general psychiatric wards were retrieved by using computer-assisted searches and manual searches of the reference lists of the relevant literature. Statistical analyses were conducted using the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis V2 software. Potential sources of heterogeneity were analyzed with Cochrane's Q analysis.Results:
The search yielded 19 eligible studies involving a total of 3,941 schizophrenia patients. The prevalence of aggressive behavior in psychiatric wards ranged between 15.3% and 53.2%. The pooled prevalence of aggression was 35.4% (95% CI: 29.7%, 41.4%). The most commonly reported significant risk factors for aggression were positive psychotic symptoms: hostility or suspiciousness, 78.9% (15 studies); delusions, 63.2% (12 studies); disorganized behavior, 26.3% (5 studies); and auditory hallucinations, 10.5% (2 studies); together with: past history of aggression, 42.1% (8 studies); and involuntary admission, 10.5% (2 studies).Conclusions:
Aggressive behaviour is common in Chinese inpatients with schizophrenia. The prevalence figures indicate the need to identify reliable clinical and illness predictors for aggression in inpatient psychiatric wards and to test investigations aimed at reducing aggressive episodes and their adverse outcomes.