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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 43 (2001) 10, 693 - 704

Review article

Guidelines for risk assessment in forensic psychiatric diagnostics: theory and practice

E.F.J.M. Brand, G.J.M. Diks

background Forensic risk assessment is a hard task that has to be done a great number of times each year.
aim To recommend which (set of) instruments can be used in forensic assessment.
method First, guidelines for forensic assessment and risk assessment are presented. The guidelines are based on guidelines that are presented in the literature for forensic assessment and risk assessment from 1990. With the given guidelines four diagnostic instruments which are aimed to predict violent behavior are evaluated: the Behavioral Status Index-Dutch version (bsi-d), the Patient Characteristics Questionnaire (pcq, vd in Dutch), the Historical Clinical Riskmanagement- 20 (hcr-20) and the Psychopathy Check List-Revised (pcl-r).
results The given guidelines in mind, a new set of questionnaires for the forensic field has been developed: the Forensic Profile Lists (fp40).
conclusion The most important guidelines are followed when using a combination of instruments. When all guidelines are used, it can lead to a better understanding of risk and better assessment.

keywords diagnosis, forensic psychiatry, test instruments