Assessing risk for violence among male and female civil psychiatric patients: the HCR-20, PCL:SV, and VSC

Behav Sci Law. 2004;22(1):127-58. doi: 10.1002/bsl.579.


This study evaluated the predictive validity of violence risk assessments conducted using the HCR-20, the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL:SV), and by the Violence Screening Checklist (VSC) in a sample of 268 involuntarily hospitalized male and female psychiatric patients. Information pertaining to violence and crime was coded from medical charts and correctional records. The HCR-20/PCL:SV evidenced modest non-significant associations in postdictive assessments of inpatient violence among men. Moderate to strong significant associations were found between the HCR-20/PCL:SV and inpatient violence among women. Pseudo-prospective assessments using the HCR-20 and PCL:SV resulted in moderate to large relationships with violence and crime in men and women following community discharge. It is concluded that the VSC is a promising tool for assessing acute inpatient violence risk with men. Findings offer preliminary validation of the predictive validity of the HCR-20 and PCL:SV with female civil psychiatric patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • British Columbia
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / psychology*
  • Male
  • Psychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Violence*