Pilot Study for the Development of a National Database of Forensic Mental Health Patients in Germany

Patients with mental illness or substance use disorder who committed a crime can be treated in forensic psychiatry in Germany if the offence is related to their disorder. This treatment is time-consuming and expensive and affects human rights of patients to a large extend. Therefore, therapeutic concepts and treatment organization shall be guided by evidence based practices at their latest state of the art. Unfortunately, there does exist a lack of even basic information about the population of forensic mental health patients in Germany. Our current project, funded by the local Damp-Stiftung, is planned as a pilot for a larger, nationwide main study. Over a period of 12 month the planned research instruments and processes shall be examined for their feasibility and usability and adapted, if necessary. Therefore, a small scale data collection is planned with six forensic mental health hospitals in the federal states of Mecklenburg-Pommerania, Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Baden-Wurttemberg. All of these hospitals treat forensic mental health patients who had no or diminished criminal responsibility due to a severe mental illness and therefore, were convicted due to § 63 StGB of the German Penal Code (Strafgesetzbuch, StGB). This procedure directly contributes to the further development of evidence based treatment and quality assurance of this demanding patient population.

The CONNECT Study Group includes (in alphabetical order):

Dörte Berthold1,Jan Bulla2, Markus Burkhardt3, Deniz Cerci8, Manuela Dudeck4, Katja Köppen8, Jürgen L. Müller5, Christian Riedemann1, Thomas Ross2, Boris Schiffer6, Jack Tomlin7, Birgit Völlm8, Peggy Walde8, and Isabell Winkler3

1 Clinic for Forensic Psychiatry, Bad Rehburg, Germany
2 Department of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Centre of Psychiatry, Reichenau, Germany
3 Professorship of Research Methods and Evaluation, Department of Psychology, Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany
4 University Hospital Ulm and Clinic for Forensic Psychiatry in Günzburg
5 Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy - Forensic Psychiatry, Human Medical Center Göttingen, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
6 Clinic for Forensic Psychiatry in Herne, and Department of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, LWL-University Hospital Bochum, Ruhr-University Bochum
7 School of Law and Criminology, University of Greenwich, London, UK
8 Department for Forensic Psychiatry, Rostock University Medical Center, Germany

Click on the linked words to have a look at the survey manual of the pilot study, the information on data protection, the list of variables and the list of psychotropic drugs.