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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003 Oct;71(5):945-53.

Utility of decision support tools for assessing acute risk of violence.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, USA.


The authors evaluated the utility of 3 decision support tools for assessing acute risk of violence in patients undergoing behavioral emergencies that warranted hospitalization. Information available at the time of admission to a short-term psychiatric unit was coded from the medical charts of 100 patients using the Historical, Clinical, Risk Management-20 (HCR-20), the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Screening Version (PCL-SV), and the McNiel-Binder Violence Screening Checklist (VSC). Nurses rated violence that later occurred during hospitalization with the Overt Aggression Scale. Scores on all 3 instruments were associated with the likelihood of violence. The strongest predictive relationships were obtained for indices of clinical risk factors rather than historical risk factors. The results suggest that decision support tools, particularly those that emphasize clinical risk factors, have the potential to improve decision making about violence risk in the context of behavioral emergencies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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