Screening for risk of violence using service users' self-perceptions: A prospective study from an acute mental health unit
Service users’ self-perception of risk has rarely been emphasized in violence risk assessments. A recent review pointed to the importance of a multidisciplinary approach, because different perspectives may provide a deeper and improved understanding of risk assessment. The aim of this study was to investigate service users’ perceptions of their own risk of committing violence, using a self-report risk scale, to determine the feasibility and efficacy of this potential violence risk marker during acute mental health hospitalization. All service users admitted to a psychiatric emergency hospital in Norway during one calendar year were included (N = 512). Nearly 80% self-reported no risk or low risk; only seven (1.4%) reported moderate risk or high risk. Service users who reported moderate risk, high risk, don't know, or won't answer were more likely to be violent (OR = 4.65, 95% CI = 2.79–7.74) compared with those who reported no risk or low risk. There was a significant gender interaction with higher OR for women on both univariate and multivariate analyses. Although the OR was higher for women, women's violence rate (11.0%) was almost half that of men (21.8%). For women, sensitivity and specificity were 0.55 and 0.88, respectively; corresponding values for men were 0.40 and 0.80. Inclusion of self-perception of violence risk is the first step towards service users’ collaborative involvement in violence prediction; these results indicate that self-perception can contribute to violence risk assessments in acute mental health settings. Findings also indicate that there are gender differences in these assessments.
Vatnar, Solveig Karin Bø
Eriksen, Bjørn Magne S.
Roaldset, John Olav