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Repeat assault injuries: A scoping review of the incidence and associated risk factors

      Highlights

      • Repeat assault is a significant public health issue.
      • Youth, racialized and marginalized groups, and those with mental health concerns or contact with the criminal justice system were most at-risk for repeat assault.
      • Our findings suggest that early intervention targeted to at-risk groups will be important in developing effective prevention strategies.

      Abstract

      Objective

      Individuals who experience assault are at high risk of being re-assaulted. Our objective was to identify reported incidences of re-assault and associated risk factors to better inform prevention strategies.

      Methods

      We conducted a scoping review and searched databases (MEDLINE, PsychINFO, CINAHL, Cochrane Reviews, and Scopus) and grey literature. We performed abstract and full-text screening, and abstracted incidence of re-assault and information related to age, sex, socioeconomic status, mental illness, and incarceration.

      Results

      We included 32 articles. Studies varied based on setting where index assaults were captured (n=18 inpatient only, n=13 emergency department or inpatient, n=1 other). Reported incidences ranged from 0.8% over one month to 62% through the lifetime. Important risk factors identified include young age, low socioeconomic status, racialized groups, history of mental illness or substance use disorder, and history of incarceration.

      Conclusions

      Rates of re-assault are high and early intervention is necessary for prevention. We identified notable risk factors that require further in-depth analysis, including sex, gender and age-stratified analyses.

      Policy implications

      Key risk factors identified should inform timely and targeted intervention strategies for prevention.

      Keywords

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