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Mentally-ill at greater risk of violence
[Posted: Tue 28/02/2012 www.irishhealth.com]
Adults with disabilities are at heightened risk of violence, with those suffering from mental illness appearing to be particularly vulnerable to violent attacks, according to new research.
This is the first study to show the extent of this problem among people with disabilities.
The researchers concluded that disabled adults are more likely to be victims of violence than those without a disability.
They found that adults with mental health problems are nearly four times as likely to be a victim of violent acts than those without a disability.
Researchers analysed 26 studies involving over 21,500 people with disabilities in seven countries including Australia and Canada.
They found that the occurrence of a recent violent attack was high in adults with a mental illness - at ust over 24% and those with intellectual disabilities, where the prevalance was just over 6%.
Dr Mark Bellis from Liverpool John Moores University, who led the research, said the number of people with disabilities who have experienced violence, are directly threatened with violence or living in fear of becoming a victim are likely to be considerably higher than estimated in the study.
The research is published in The Lancet.
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