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Journal ArticleDOI

Rates of violence in patients classified as high risk by structured risk assessment instruments

01 Mar 2014-British Journal of Psychiatry (Royal College of Psychiatrists)-Vol. 204, Iss: 3, pp 180-187

TL;DR: After controlling for time at risk, the rate of violence in individuals classified as high risk by SRAIs shows substantial variation and assigning predetermined probabilities to future violence risk on the basis of a structured risk assessment is not supported by the current evidence base.

AbstractBackground Rates of violence in persons identified as high risk by structured risk assessment instruments (SRAIs) are uncertain and frequently unreported by validation studies. Aims To analyse the variation in rates of violence in individuals identified as high risk by SRAIs. Method A systematic search of databases (1995-2011) was conducted for studies on nine widely used assessment tools. Where violence rates in high-risk groups were not published, these were requested from study authors. Rate information was extracted, and binomial logistic regression was used to study heterogeneity. Results Information was collected on 13 045 participants in 57 samples from 47 independent studies. Annualised rates of violence in individuals classified as high risk varied both across and within instruments. Rates were elevated when population rates of violence were higher, when a structured professional judgement instrument was used and when there was a lower proportion of men in a study. Conclusions After controlling for time at risk, the rate of violence in individuals classified as high risk by SRAIs shows substantial variation. In the absence of information on local base rates, assigning predetermined probabilities to future violence risk on the basis of a structured risk assessment is not supported by the current evidence base. This underscores the need for caution when such risk estimates are used to influence decisions related to individual liberty and public safety.

Topics: Time at risk (63%), Risk assessment (62%), Risk management (55%), Population (51%), Poison control (50%)

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is suggested that violence risk assessment is a global phenomenon, as is the use of instruments to assist in this task, and improved feedback following risk assessments and the development of risk management plans could improve the efficacy of health services.
Abstract: Mental health professionals are routinely called upon to assess the risk of violence presented by their patients. Prior surveys of risk assessment methods have been largely circumscribed to individual countries and have not compared the practices of different professional disciplines. Therefore, a Web-based survey was developed to examine methods of violence risk assessment across six continents, and to compare the perceived utility of these methods by psychologists, psychiatrists, and nurses. The survey was translated into nine languages and distributed to members of 59 national and international organizations. Surveys were completed by 2135 respondents from 44 countries. Respondents in all six continents reported using instruments to assess, manage, and monitor violence risk, with over half of risk assessments in the past 12 months conducted using such an instrument. Respondents in Asia and South America reported conducting fewer structured assessments, and psychologists reported using instruments more ...

150 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: These Practice Guidelines for the Psychiatric Evaluation of Adults mark a transition in the American Psychiatric Association’s Practice Guidelines by using a “snowball” survey methodology to identify experts on psychiatric evaluation and solicit their input on aspects of the psychiatric evaluation that they saw as likely to improve specific patient outcomes.
Abstract: These Practice Guidelines for the Psychiatric Evaluation of Adults mark a transition in the American Psychiatric Association’s Practice Guidelines. Since the publication of the 2011 Institute of Medicine report Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust, there has been an increasing focus on using clearly defined, transparent processes for rating the quality of evidence and the strength of the overall body of evidence in systematic reviews of the scientific literature. These guidelines were developed using a process intended to be consistent with the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (2011), the Principles for theDevelopment of Specialty Society Clinical Guidelines of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (2012), and the requirements of the Agency for Healthcare Research andQuality (AHRQ) for inclusion of a guideline in the National Guideline Clearinghouse. Parameters used for the guidelines’ systematic review are included with the full text of the guidelines; the development process is fully described in a document available on the APA website: http:// www.psychiatry.org/File%20Library/Practice/APA-GuidelineDevelopment-Process–updated-2011-.pdf. To supplement the expertise of members of the guideline work group, we used a “snowball” survey methodology to identify experts on psychiatric evaluation and solicit their input on aspects of the psychiatric evaluation that they saw as likely to improve specific patient outcomes (Yager 2014). Results of this expert survey are included with the full text of the practice guideline.

66 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is found that the new, common STATIC risk categories not only increase concordance of risk classification (from 51% to 72%)—they also allow evaluators to make the same inferences for offenders in the same category regardless of which instrument was used to assign category membership.
Abstract: This article describes principles for developing risk category labels for criterion referenced prediction measures, and demonstrates their utility by creating new risk categories for the Static-99R and Static-2002R sexual offender risk assessment tools. Currently, risk assessments in corrections and forensic mental health are typically summarized in 1 of 3 words: low, moderate, or high. Although these risk labels have strong influence on decision makers, they are interpreted differently across settings, even among trained professionals. The current article provides a framework for standardizing risk communication by matching (a) the information contained in risk tools to (b) a broadly applicable classification of "riskiness" that is independent of any particular offender risk scale. We found that the new, common STATIC risk categories not only increase concordance of risk classification (from 51% to 72%)-they also allow evaluators to make the same inferences for offenders in the same category regardless of which instrument was used to assign category membership. More generally, we argue that the risk categories should be linked to the decisions at hand, and that risk communication can be improved by grounding these risk categories in evidence-based definitions. (PsycINFO Database Record

59 citations


Cites background from "Rates of violence in patients class..."

  • ...There are currently hundreds of different offender risk tools used worldwide (Singh et al., 2014), each with its own interpretive categories....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A prediction model in a Swedish prison population that can assist with decision making on release by identifying those who are at low risk of future violent offending, and those at high risk of violent reoffending who might benefit from drug and alcohol treatment is developed.
Abstract: © 2016 Fazel et al. Background: More than 30 million people are released from prison worldwide every year, who include a group at high risk of perpetrating interpersonal violence. Because there is considerable inconsistency and inefficiency in identifying those who would benefit from interventions to reduce this risk, we developed and validated a clinical prediction rule to determine the risk of violent offending in released prisoners. Methods: We did a cohort study of a population of released prisoners in Sweden. Through linkage of population-based registers, we developed predictive models for violent reoffending for the cohort. First, we developed a derivation model to determine the strength of prespecified, routinely obtained criminal history, sociodemographic, and clinical risk factors using multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression, and then tested them in an external validation. We measured discrimination and calibration for prediction of our primary outcome of violent reoffending at 1 and 2 years using cutoffs of 10% for 1-year risk and 20% for 2-year risk. Findings: We identified a cohort of 47 326 prisoners released in Sweden between 2001 and 2009, with 11 263 incidents of violent reoffending during this period. We developed a 14-item derivation model to predict violent reoffending and tested it in an external validation (assigning 37 100 individuals to the derivation sample and 10 226 to the validation sample). The model showed good measures of discrimination (Harrell's c-index 0·74) and calibration. For risk of violent reoffending at 1 year, sensitivity was 76% (95% CI 73-79) and specificity was 61% (95% CI 60-62). Positive and negative predictive values were 21% (95% CI 19-22) and 95% (95% CI 94-96), respectively. At 2 years, sensitivity was 67% (95% CI 64-69) and specificity was 70% (95% CI 69-72). Positive and negative predictive values were 37% (95% CI 35-39) and 89% (95% CI 88-90), respectively. Of individuals with a predicted risk of violent reoffending of 50% or more, 88% had drug and alcohol use disorders. We used the model to generate a simple, web-based, risk calculator (OxRec) that is free to use. Interpretation: We have developed a prediction model in a Swedish prison population that can assist with decision making on release by identifying those who are at low risk of future violent offending, and those at high risk of violent reoffending who might benefit from drug and alcohol treatment. Further assessments in other populations and countries are needed. Funding: Wellcome Trust, the Swedish Research Council, and the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare.

50 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is found that the evidence base for forensic-psychiatric practice is weak though there is some evidence to suggest that psychiatric care produces better outcomes than criminal justice detention only.
Abstract: Forensic psychiatry in Europe is a specialty primarily concerned with individuals who have either offended or present a risk of doing so, and who also suffer from a psychiatric condition. These mentally disordered offenders (MDOs) are often cared for in secure psychiatric environments or prisons. In this guidance paper we first present on overview of the field of forensic psychiatry from a European perspective. We then present a review of the literature summarising the evidence on the assessment and treatment of MDOs under the following headings: The role of the forensic psychiatrist as an expert witness, risk assessment, treatment settings for MDOs, and effectiveness of psychological and pharmacological interventions. We undertook a rapid review of the literature with search terms related to: forensic psychiatry, review articles, randomised controlled trials and best practice. We searched the Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, and Cochrane library databases from 2000 onwards for adult groups only. We scrutinised publications for additional relevant literature, and searched the websites of relevant professional organisations for policies, statements or guidance of interest. We present the findings of the scientific literature as well as recommendations for best practice drawing additionally from the guidance documents identified. We found that the evidence base for forensic-psychiatric practice is weak though there is some evidence to suggest that psychiatric care produces better outcomes than criminal justice detention only. Practitioners need to follow general psychiatric guidance as well as that for offenders, adapted for the complex needs of this patient group, paying particular attention to long-term detention and ethical issues.

48 citations


Cites background from "Rates of violence in patients class..."

  • ...The need to be cautious in the use of risk assessment instruments for individual clinical decisions is compounded by the low and varying base rates for violent recidivism in the local population of which the assessed person is a member and the assessed person is compared with [71]....

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