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J R Soc Med. 1995 February; 88(2): 85–87.
PMCID: PMC1295101

Characteristic illness behaviour in assault patients: DATES syndrome.


Violent crime has become a public health issue, not least because the needs of victims have been neglected in the criminal justice system. Since this group suffer more psychological distress than victims of accidents, we compared illness experience in 433 adult assault victims with paired victims of accidents in a case control study. In the 10 year period prior to injury, there was a significant excess of hospital contacts in the assault group in relation to trauma, elective surgery and drug abuse but not to other psychiatric or medical conditions. This spectrum of disorders constitutes a previously unrecognized syndrome in young adults, probably representing the manifestations of antisocial personality.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Koop CE, Lundberg GB. Violence in America: a public health emergency. Time to bite the bullet back. JAMA. 1992 Jun 10;267(22):3075–3076. [PubMed]
  • Shepherd JP, Farrington DP. Assault as a public health problem: discussion paper. J R Soc Med. 1993 Feb;86(2):89–92. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Shepherd JP, Qureshi R, Preston MS, Levers BG. Psychological distress after assaults and accidents. BMJ. 1990 Oct 13;301(6756):849–850. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Robins LN. Conduct disorder. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1991 Jan;32(1):193–212. [PubMed]

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