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Special Hospitals provide treatment and care for individuals with a mental disorder, detained under the Mental Health Act (1983), and deemed to require conditions of high security. Despite high ratios of males to females, it has been suggested that particular attention needs to be given to the treatment requirements of women in this environment. In comparison to men, a significant number of female patients have an index offence of arson (Lumsden et al., 1996; Coid et al., 2000). High rates of self-harm have also been recognised amongst female patients, for example Bland et al., found that 94% of women at Broadmoor hospital self-harmed (1999). The current paper investigates the hypothesis that the high correlation between self harming and fire setting behaviours in female patients may reflect a common functional pathway.
This document has been peer reviewed.