Risk of recidivism for forensic psychiatric patients with an autism spectrum disorder
Background There is limited knowledge of the predictive validity of risk factors and protective factors for recidivism in forensic psychiatric patients with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Aim To examine risk factors, protective factors and the predictive value of these factors in relation to recidivism for forensic psychiatric patients with ASD compared to patients without ASD.
Method For 69 patients, including 32 patients with ASD, the risk factors and protective factors were measured at the start and end of treatment. Of these 69 patients recidivism was examined for 23 patients, including 10 patients with ASD. Furthermore, the predictive validity of these measurements in relation to recidivism was explored.
Results The positive changes on risk and protective factors at the end of treatment did not differ significantly between both groups, except for the external protective factor, on which patients with ASD scored less favourable. We used a follow-up period of 2.5 to 4 years. Only 1 out of 10 ASS-patient showed recidivism compared to 7 out of 13 in the non-ASD-group. The scores on the risk assessment instruments at the start of treatment showed a significant predictive validity for recidivism, the scores at the of the end treatment did not. Structured clinical judgment of recidivism showed no significant predictive validity at the start as well as the end of treatment.
Conclusion Despite the small sample, the results give rise to further research about risk factors and protective factors for recidivism, and the usability of risk-assessment for forensic patients with ASD.