Detection of Impending Aggressive Outbursts in Patients with Psychiatric Disorders: Violence Clues from Dogs

Uriel Bakeman, Hodaya Eilam, Clara Moray Schild, Dan Grinstein, Yuval Eshed, Morris Laster, Ester Fride, Sharon Anavi-Goffer (Corresponding Author)

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Abstract

Aggression in psychiatric wards is a continuing matter of concern for both patients and medical staff. Here we have tested the hypothesis that the frequency of such incidents can be reduced with a new strategy of using trained alert dogs that warn of impending violent outbursts. Dogs were positioned among patients in psychiatric wards. Analyses show that the dogs warned of impending aggressive outbursts, responding to signals from a specific patient out of a group of unfamiliar psychotic patients. Their alerts were not a response to stress as canine cortisol levels were not significantly changed. Visual glance was the preferred method used by young dogs to respond to patient. Until a similar electronic technology is developed, trained alert dogs can help caregivers to protect both the patient and those around them from injuries that may otherwise result from aggressive outbursts in psychiatric patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17228
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2019

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Keywords

  • brain-machine interface
  • psychosis
  • RESPONSES
  • SEIZURE-ALERT DOGS
  • HYPOGLYCEMIA
  • EPILEPSY
  • HEALTH
  • BEHAVIORS
  • VOLATILE ORGANIC-COMPOUNDS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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