Research Repository

Understanding Clinicians' Use of Cues When Assessing the Future Risk of Violence: A Clinical Judgement Analysis in the Psychiatric Setting

Brown, Barbara and Rakow, Tim (2016) 'Understanding Clinicians' Use of Cues When Assessing the Future Risk of Violence: A Clinical Judgement Analysis in the Psychiatric Setting.' Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 23 (2). pp. 125-141. ISSN 1063-3995

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Research is sparse on how clinicians' judgement informs their violence risk assessments. Yet, determining preferences for which risk factors are used, and how they are weighted and combined, is important to understanding such assessments. This study investigated clinicians' use of static and dynamic cues when assessing risk in individual patients and for dynamic cues considered in the recent and distant past. Clinicians provided three violence risk assessments for 41 separate hypothetical cases of hospitalized patients, each defined by eight cues (e.g., psychopathy and past violence severity/frequency). A clinical judgement analysis, using regression analysis of judgements for multiple cases, created linear models reflecting the major influences on each individual clinician's judgement. Risk assessments could be successfully predicted by between one and four cues, and there was close agreement between different clinicians' models regarding which cues were relevant for a given assessment. However, which cues were used varied between assessments: history of recent violence predicted assessments of in-hospital risk, whereas violence in the distant past predicted the assessed risk in the community. Crucially, several factors included in actuarial/structured risk assessment tools had little influence on clinicians' assessments. Our findings point to the adaptivity in clinicians' violence risk assessments, with a preference for relying on information consistent with the setting for which the assessment applies. The implication is that clinicians are open to using different structured assessment tools for different kinds of risk assessment, although they may seek greater flexibility in their assessments than some structured risk assessment tools afford (e.g., discounting static risk factors).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Violence Risk Assessment; Clinical Reasoning; Judgement Analysis; Clinical Prediction; Risk Factors; Dynamic Risk Assessment
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2015 11:18
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2022 10:42

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