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The Niuvanniemi Hospital functions as the Forensic Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Eastern Finland, tasked with providing basic, further and complementary education in forensic psychiatry and conducting research in health sciences.
Finland’s comprehensive statistical compilation practice provides exceptionally favourable opportunities for forensic psychiatry research. Epidemiological methods make it possible to establish the degree to which mental health disorders are linked with violent or criminal behaviour. On the basis of the results referred to above, among other, imaging methods can be used to study the changes related to various disorders; these results make it possible to develop specific treatment, for example, through the use of pharmacological methods. Niuvanniemi Hospital is engaged in research cooperation with the Nathan Kline Institute (New York, USA), the University of Montreal and the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. Finnish partners include the Helsinki Deaconess Institute, the Helsinki University Central Hospital Psychiatric Clinic for Substance Dependence, the National Public Health Institute (Helsinki), the Turku PET Centre and the Kuopio University Hospital Clinics for Radiology, Clinical Physiology, Neurophysiology and Psychiatry, the Psychiatry Clinics of the Universities of Oulu and Helsinki, the University of Eastern Finland Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Research Institute of Public Health, the University of Turku Department of Pharmacology, the University of Eastern Finland Department of Psychology and the University of Eastern Finland Department of Nursing Science.
In 1998 the hospital became involved in an international study involving several research centres, the AFTER CARE project (partners: Montreal University, British Columbia Forensic Services Commission, Simon Fraser University, Canada; Karolinska Institutet, Göteborg University, Linköping University, Sweden; Haina Forensic Hospital, Giessen, Germany). The aim of the study is to establish the impact of the further treatment of forensic psychiatric patients in outpatient care on the recidivistic offending. A further aim is to study several possible risk factors predisposing patients to violent behaviour. The Clinic is also carrying out clinical studies in pharmacological treatment.
An average of one forensic psychiatrist graduates from the forensic psychiatry specialist training programme each year.