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Minerva Psichiatrica 2002 June;43(2):101-6


language: Italian

Psychiatric assessment of a sample of inmates admitted to the prison medical division at S. Giovanni Battista Hospital in Turin

Rocca P., Bettonte D., Cirla M., Rasetti R., Rivoira E., Villari V., Bogetto F.


Background. The aim of this study is to evaluate a sample of prison people with behavioral disorders who were referred to the prison Medical Division at S. Giovanni Battista Hospital in Turin for a mental health assessment over a 2-year period (from 1997 to 1999). We examined the relationship between psychiatric diagnoses and ethnicity.
Methods. The sample included 257 subjects. Eighty-two came from outside United Europe (UE). Psychiatric diagnoses were made on the basis of the structured clinical interview for DSM IV (SCID). We evaluated the variation in the distribution of psychiatric disorders of Axis I and II between Italian inmates and outside UE inmates.
Results. Sixty per cent (153) of the subjects (71% of Italian and 35% of outside UE inmates) was affected by psychiatric disorders and was hospitalized in Psychiatric Division. The DSM-IV diagnostic groups (Axis I and Axis II) were associated with ethnicity. The data show the Italian group to have higher rate of Axis I disorders (82 vs 48%), while outside UE subjects to have higher rate of Axis II disorders (72 vs 17%). One hundred and four patients who were referred to the hospital because of inadequate behavior were hospitalized in Medicine, Surgery, Dietology Division, because they had not a psychiatric disorder.
Conclusions. Our data suggest that only 60% of subjects referred to the prison medical division for aggressive and disciplinary problems had a psychiatric disorder. Psychiatric disorders of Axis I were more prevalent among Italians, while psychiatric disorders of Axis II were more prevalent among outside UE persons.

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