Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify demographic and clinical characteristics of psychiatric inpatients who stalk, threaten, or harass hospital staff after discharge.
Method: The authors retrospectively summarized the demographic and clinical characteristics of 17 inpatients who engaged in this type of behavior and a comparison group of 326 inpatients.
Results: The patients who stalked, threatened, or harassed staff after discharge were significantly more likely than the comparison patients to have a diagnosis of personality disorder and/or paranoid disorder, erotomanic subtype, and to have a history of physically assaultive or fear-inducing behavior. The data suggest that they were more likely to be male and never married and to have histories of multiple hospitalizations, suicidal or self-injurious behavior, and substance abuse or dependence.
Conclusions: The findings reveal several risk factors that may be useful in identifying a subgroup of patients who pose a risk of directing aggressive behavior toward hospital staff after discharge.