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Mentally challenged patients in a forensic hospital: A feasibility study concerning the executive functions of forensic patients with organic brain disorder, learning disability, or mental retardation

Eva Bastert, Detlef Schläfke, Annika Pein, Franziska Kupke & Jörg M. Fegert.

International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. Volume 35, Issue 3, May–June 2012, Pages 207–212.

 

Abstract

The past years have seen an increasing number of patients of lower intelligence or with organic brain disorder being committed into our forensic psychiatry. Our clinic has an ongoing scientific project to investigate the possibilities of reducing costs while at the same time guaranteeing adequate treatment and enforcement practice in forensic hospitals. This current project did not take these kinds of patients into consideration initially. This feasibility study is intended to examine if and to what extent these patients can be part of the scientific project. All patients of forensic psychiatry in Rostock (Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania) with an IQ < 80 (learning disorder) or a primary or secondary organic brain dysfunction that have been committed to the clinic since 2009 are included. These patients went through an extensive battery of neuropsychological tests. Furthermore, the treating psychotherapists had to rate the prognoses for criminal re-offending at discharge. Patients affected by lower intelligence or an organic brain dysfunction achieve lower results in neuropsychological testing than other patients participating in the main project. Nevertheless, participation in neuropsychological testing does not appear to overtax them. Future examination of the patients will be conducted to investigate to what extent certain therapeutic methods have been of noticeable benefit to this problematic group.

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