Background: Violence and aggressive behavior within psychiatric facilities are serious work environment problems, which have negative consequences for both patients and staff. It is therefore of great importance to reduce both the number and the severity of these violent incidents to improve quality of care.
Aims: To evaluate the specificity and sensitivity of the Brøset Violence Checklist (BVC) as a predictor of violent incidents for Danish forensic psychiatry patients.
Method: A total of 156 patients were assessed three times daily with the BVC for 24 months. All aggressive or violent incidents were recorded using the Staff Observation Aggression Scale-Revised (SOAS-R). SOAS-R scores of 9 or more defined violent incidents. Data were analyzed using standard logistic regression models as well as models incorporating a random person effect. We used receiver operating curve (ROC) analysis to evaluate different BVC thresholds.
Results: Of a total of 139,579 BVC registrations we found 1999 scores above 0 and 419 violent incidents. The BVC score was a strong predictor of violence. For the standard cut-off point of 3, specificity was 0.997 and sensitivity was 0.656. For the general risk of violence seen in this study, the risk of violence given a BVC score > 3 (positive predictive value) was 37.2%, and the risk of violence given a BVC score < 3 (negative predictive value) was 0.1%.
Conclusion: The BVC showed satisfactory specificity and sensitivity as a predictor of the short-term risk of violence against staff and others by patients in a forensic setting.
Keywords: Aggression; Forensic psychiatry; Risk management; Short-term risk assessment; Violence.