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Prediction of institutional aggression among personality disordered forensic patients using actuarial and structured clinical risk assessment tools: prospective evaluation of the HCR-20, VRS, Static-99, and Risk Matrix 2000

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Entry to the Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD) service in England and Wales is heavily determined by risk status, and therefore requires valid procedures for monitoring changes in risk over time in order to make risk management decisions and determine patients' suitability for transfer to lower security settings. Yet little is known about the validity of current risk assessment tools with the new DSPD population. This study reports a prospective evaluation of the predictive accuracy of the HCR-20, VRS, Static-99, and Risk Matrix 2000 with 44 consecutive admissions to the DSPD unit at a high secure forensic psychiatric hospital. Thirty eight per cent of the sample exhibited interpersonal physical aggression (IPA) on one or more instances over an average 1.5 year period following admission, and a similar percentage caused damage to property (DTP) on one or more occasions over the same period. All tools predicted DTP. HCR-20 Total and scale scores predicted IPA with structured final risk judgements also predicting repetitive (2 + incidents of) IPA. HCR-20 Risk Management scores were significantly associated with imminence of IPA. Results were discussed in terms of the practical utility of these tools with high risk forensic psychiatric inpatients.
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Keywords: DSPD; inpatient aggression; personality disorder; psychopathy; risk assessment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Nottingham, UK,Peaks Unit, Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust, Nottinghamshire, UK,University of Toronto, Canada 2: Peaks Unit, Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust, Nottinghamshire, UK,University of Lincoln, UK 3: University of Nottingham, UK,Peaks Unit, Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust, Nottinghamshire, UK,Monash University, Melbourne, Australia,Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia 4: Peaks Unit, Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust, Nottinghamshire, UK

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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