• female;
  • male;
  • nursing;
  • outpatients;
  • psychosis;
  • victimization

Accessible summary

  • • 
    This study investigates victimization in male and female outpatients suffering from psychosis, the relationship to perpetrators, places where it occurs, and whether drugs or alcohol have been involved.
  • • 
    A majority of the patients had been victimized in adulthood and in the previous year.
  • • 
    Female patients were more frequently physically and sexually victimized than male patients.
  • • 
    In future it is important for care to focus not only on interpersonal aspects of violence but also on environmental factors.


The aims of the study were to investigate: (1) self-reported adulthood and last-year victimization in male and female outpatients suffering from psychosis; (2) relationships to perpetrators; (3) whether drugs or alcohol were involved in victimization situations; (4) places where victimization occurred. Patients were randomly selected from five outpatient units geared to patients with psychosis; 174 patients participated in a structured face-to-face interview. Experiences of victimization in adulthood were reported by 67%, 33% in the previous year. During adulthood 51% had been physically and 32% sexually victimized and 39% threatened. In the previous year 21% reported threats, 20% physical and 15% sexual victimization. Women reported greater exposure to physical and sexual victimization than men during adulthood and in the previous year. Strangers and acquaintances were mainly reported as perpetrators and half (55%) of those victimized in the previous year stated no involvement of alcohol or drugs. Victimization mainly occurred in the patients' own home (59%), outside downtown (34%), or in others homes (38%). The results of this study give reason to highlight the importance for research and clinical practices to adopt a broad frame of interpretation concerning victimization in patients, covering both individual and environmental factors.