Paul Appelbaum, M.D., the Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Law, director of the Division of Law, Ethics, and
Psychiatry at Columbia University, and a former APA president, reviewed the study for Psychiatric News. "This paper is one of a number of recent studies that have suggested that people suffering from psychotic disorders have
an increased risk of violence, especially severe violence such as homicide. Indeed, taking the research as a whole—and despite
studies to the contrary—one would have to say that the weight of the evidence supports that conclusion. These researchers
found that, although a history of substance abuse clearly increased the rate of homicide, it did not account for it entirely."
Appelbaum added, "There is a genuine concern that these data may heighten the stigma associated with psychotic disorders.
But most people with schizophrenia are not violent, and only a very small fraction of violence in the U.S. is attributable
to mental illness. Overall, however, the growing body of data suggesting a link between serious mental illness and violence
should motivate us to rebuild our systems for delivering care to this population."