Changes in heart rate and skin conductance in the 30 min preceding aggressive behavior

P. De Looff, M.L. Noordzij, M. Moerbeek, H. Nijman, R. Didden, P. Embregts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Aggressive behavior of inpatients threatens the safety and well‐being of both men-tal health staff members and fellow patients. It was investigated whether heart rate and electrodermal activity can be used to signal imminent aggression. A naturalistic study was conducted in which 100 inpatients wore sensor wristbands during 5 days to monitor their heart rate and electrodermal activity while staff members recorded patients’ aggressive incidents on the ward. Of the 100 patients, 36 displayed at least one aggressive incident. Longitudinal multilevel models indicated that heart rate, skin conductance level, and the number of nonspecific skin conductance responses per minute rose significantly in the 20 min preceding aggressive incidents. Although psy-chopathy was modestly correlated with displaying aggression, it was not a significant predictor of heart rate and skin conductance preceding aggression. The current find-ings may provide opportunities for the development of individual prediction models to aid acute risk assessment and to predict aggressive incidents in an earlier stage. The current results on the physiological indicators of aggression are promising for reduc-ing aggression and improving both staff as well as patient safety in psychiatric mental health institutions
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13420
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume56
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Inpatients
Psychiatric Hospitals
Mental Health

Keywords

  • ADULTS
  • ANTISOCIAL-BEHAVIOR
  • CHALLENGING BEHAVIOR
  • INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY
  • NURSES
  • PREVALENCE
  • PSYCHOPATHY
  • aggression
  • ambulatory
  • antisocial personality disorder
  • galvanic skin response
  • heart rate
  • monitoring

Cite this

De Looff, P. ; Noordzij, M.L. ; Moerbeek, M. ; Nijman, H. ; Didden, R. ; Embregts, P. / Changes in heart rate and skin conductance in the 30 min preceding aggressive behavior. In: Psychophysiology. 2019 ; Vol. 56, No. 10.
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abstract = "Aggressive behavior of inpatients threatens the safety and well‐being of both men-tal health staff members and fellow patients. It was investigated whether heart rate and electrodermal activity can be used to signal imminent aggression. A naturalistic study was conducted in which 100 inpatients wore sensor wristbands during 5 days to monitor their heart rate and electrodermal activity while staff members recorded patients’ aggressive incidents on the ward. Of the 100 patients, 36 displayed at least one aggressive incident. Longitudinal multilevel models indicated that heart rate, skin conductance level, and the number of nonspecific skin conductance responses per minute rose significantly in the 20 min preceding aggressive incidents. Although psy-chopathy was modestly correlated with displaying aggression, it was not a significant predictor of heart rate and skin conductance preceding aggression. The current find-ings may provide opportunities for the development of individual prediction models to aid acute risk assessment and to predict aggressive incidents in an earlier stage. The current results on the physiological indicators of aggression are promising for reduc-ing aggression and improving both staff as well as patient safety in psychiatric mental health institutions",
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Changes in heart rate and skin conductance in the 30 min preceding aggressive behavior. / De Looff, P.; Noordzij, M.L.; Moerbeek, M.; Nijman, H.; Didden, R.; Embregts, P.

In: Psychophysiology, Vol. 56, No. 10, e13420, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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T1 - Changes in heart rate and skin conductance in the 30 min preceding aggressive behavior

AU - De Looff, P.

AU - Noordzij, M.L.

AU - Moerbeek, M.

AU - Nijman, H.

AU - Didden, R.

AU - Embregts, P.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

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AB - Aggressive behavior of inpatients threatens the safety and well‐being of both men-tal health staff members and fellow patients. It was investigated whether heart rate and electrodermal activity can be used to signal imminent aggression. A naturalistic study was conducted in which 100 inpatients wore sensor wristbands during 5 days to monitor their heart rate and electrodermal activity while staff members recorded patients’ aggressive incidents on the ward. Of the 100 patients, 36 displayed at least one aggressive incident. Longitudinal multilevel models indicated that heart rate, skin conductance level, and the number of nonspecific skin conductance responses per minute rose significantly in the 20 min preceding aggressive incidents. Although psy-chopathy was modestly correlated with displaying aggression, it was not a significant predictor of heart rate and skin conductance preceding aggression. The current find-ings may provide opportunities for the development of individual prediction models to aid acute risk assessment and to predict aggressive incidents in an earlier stage. The current results on the physiological indicators of aggression are promising for reduc-ing aggression and improving both staff as well as patient safety in psychiatric mental health institutions

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KW - aggression

KW - ambulatory

KW - antisocial personality disorder

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KW - heart rate

KW - monitoring

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