Forensic settings

What is prevalence? 

Prevalence measures the proportion of individuals who have a disorder at a particular point in time (point prevalence) or during a specified period (annual prevalence, lifetime prevalence) and this may vary across regions. It is distinct from incidence, which refers to how many new cases there are per population in a specified time period.

What is the evidence for the prevalence of schizophrenia in forensic settings?

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests the overall prevalence of any psychotic disorder in prisoners is around 3.6%. There were higher prevalence rates in low- to middle-income countries (5.5%) than in high-income countries (3.5%), with no differences in prevalence rates in forensic settings according to sex, study year, inmate status, or diagnostic method.

Moderate to high quality evidence finds the prevalence of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders in older prisoners (> 50 years) is around 5.5%, from studies conducted in the USA, UK, and France.

Among adolescents in juvenile forensic settings in western countries, high quality evidence finds the prevalence rate of any psychotic disorder is around 3.3% for males and 2.7% for females.

Among offenders on probation, moderate to low quality evidence finds the prevalence of schizophrenia ranges between 1.7% and 30%.

January 2019

Last updated at: 1:05 am, 29th March 2019
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