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Pathways from Psychosis to Serious Violence: Understanding and Interventions

Contact details

Pamela J Taylor

Professor of Forensic Psychiatry,

Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences

MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics

School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Neuadd Merionnydd, HeathPark,

Cardiff, CF14 4YS

Tel: +44 029 2068 7869

email: taylorpj2@cardiff.ac.uk

Purposes of the Group

To establish the milieu for good research by forging practical working links between university staff and practitioners in health services and other relevant agencies, seeking funds for and undertaking research. 

To disseminate relevant research information as it emerges, teach and train, in particular training researchers for the future. Our members include medical and psychology undergraduates, masters degree students, MD and PhD students.  One of the PhD students was successful in obtaining an MRC fellowship, in part to develop statistical skills in pathway analysis.   We receive overseas academics and trainees on sabbaticals and special training modules respectively. We share our knowledge through national and international conferences and workshops, and in our government advisory roles.

Group Membership

Pathways Members List

Purpose of the Pathway Group

The pathways group links researchers in the universities of SwanseaBangorGlamorgan, Glyndŵr and Cardiff Metropolitan University (formerly UWIC), and certain universities outside Wales, with practitioners in healthcare organisations and independent hospitals, third sector organisations, in particular, the Salvation Army, former service users throughout Wales and, through the linked groups and networks with staff in prisons, the probation service and the police and well as staff in governmental offices, including the National Offender Management Service (NOMS).   Within Cardiff University we work across the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Psychology, Law and Social Sciences. 

We have three main areas of work: 

The first is an established, multi-centre study for which information collection is continuing about how talking about delusions in ordinary social and clinical situations may affect those delusions, resultant behaviour or both, and how this may occur.  

The second about relationships between psychosis, offending and social exclusion, drawing both on our own data from men in prison and homeless men and on a systematic review programme of housing solutions for people with mental health problems who have also been offenders.

The third is the continued evaluation of information from structural and functional magnetic resonance brain images from violent and non-violent men with schizophrenia and healthy male controls. 

 Some of our research questions are:

 What proportion of people with delusions talk about these beliefs with others?

  • How do others respond to this?
  • What effects do such conversations have on delusional beliefs and related behaviours, including violence?
  • What role does the empathic ability of the patient play in delusion development, social interaction, violent actions or all three?
  • What role does the propensity for anger on the part of the patient play in delusion development, social interaction, violent actions or all three?
  • Are there differences in brain structure and/or function among men with schizophrenia who have been violent compared with those who have not which link to some of these potential moderators, including anger or capacity for empathy? 


Links outside MHRN-C

Quarterly report submissions

These highlight new activities or publications throughout the year.

Meetings and events

Forthcoming presentation on: Psychosis and violence: Conversations about the main delusion and outcomes at Solutions Worth Sharing, the International Conference of the Expertisecentrum Forensische Psychiatrie, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 7th June 2012.  

Specific funding sources

MRC: Research Fellowship (Roland Jones).