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Instruments for evaluating the risk of violence towards others have mostly been developed for assessment of risk for recidivism into violent crime in forensic psychiatry. In general psychiatry there is a considerable need for specialised, brief and structured assessment tools to inform risk decisions.
The study aimed to validate a brief structured clinical risk assessment screen of inpatient violence (V-RISK-10), a 10-item structured clinical checklist with a good vignette-based interrater reliability (ICC=0.87). In this study it was used for risk assessment of a one-year sample of patients (N = 1.017) admitted to two acute psychiatric units. Risk assessments at admission were compared to prospective records of aggressive and violent acts during the hospital stay.
Results showed a base rate for aggression of 9%. The predictive validity of the V-RISK-10 was estimated by Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC). It yielded an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.83, with sensitivity/specificity of 0.81/0.73 and corresponding positive and negative predictive values (PPV/NPV) of 0.24/0.97. The screen was easy-to-use and showed a short completion time.
Despite promising results further validation studies are required before the V-RISK-10 is adopted into routine clinical practise.
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