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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 54 (2012) 2, 179 - 183

Short report

Routine outcome monitoring in forensic psychiatry: a long story cut short

K. Goethals, H.J.C. van Marle

background It is difficult to do research relating to forensic psychiatric patients because there are a number of methodological problems inherent in systematic measurements in forensic psychiatry.
aim To give readers an overview of the rom literature and some information about worthwhile developments in the field.
method We studied the Dutch and international literature and took a closer look at some recent developments.
results For several reasons it is almost impossible to set up randomised controlled trials in forensic psychiatry. The main problems are as follows: the selection criteria for forensic psychiatric treatment are not psychiatric or they lack a behavioural focus, there is no standardised forensic psychiatric treatment for patients with a variety of psychiatric disorders and no theory concerning the relationship between disorder and offence. rom, therefore, may help to measure the clinical effectiveness of the treatments investigated. The forensic psychiatric literature gives very little advice on the choice of appropriate instruments. Clearly, however, the instruments have to embrace three distinct domains: psychopathology, the quality of life and the risk of recidivism.
conclusion At least, however, we can recommend that all forensic psychiatric institutions should work together to develop a rom system.

keywords expert report, forensic psychiatric treatment, ROM