Objective: Four available instruments for the measurement of violence were compared. The association between psychopathological status at admission and violence during in-patient treatment was examined.
Method: In 199 consecutively admitted patients (143 with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, 56 with non-psychotic disorders), the PANSS was recorded at the time of admission. Violent behaviour against self and others was assessed for the total period of in-patient treatment using the scales MOAS, SDAS, SOAS and VS.
Results: The sumscores of the scales correlated highly (r between 0.78 and 0.91), but the scales differed in sensibility and inter-rater reliability. There was a strong association between thought disorders and violent behaviour during in-patient treatment in psychotic patients (beta = 0.34; P<0.001).
Conclusion: Although constructed to measure different aspects of violence, all investigated instruments correlated highly. The psychopathological status at admission is associated with violent behaviour during in-patient treatment.