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Title: Assessing the risk of violent recidivism : evaluating an alternative method of calculating the violence risk appraisal guide
Author: O'Rourke, Suzanne J.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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Assessing the risk of violent recidivism: An examination of the factor structure of the Psychopathy Checklist - Revised (PCL-R) and validity of its replacement in the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG) with the Child and Adolescent Taxon Scale (CATS) to produce a non-clinician dependent more time and cost efficient risk assessment in a UK forensic psychiatric patient sample. The requirement for an accurate, time efficient and cost effective measure to predict violent recidivism in forensic hospital inpatients was highlighted by the Committee of Inquiry into the Personality Disorder Unit of Ashworth Special Hospital (Fallon et al., 1999) which identified a need for a 'consistent and standardised assessment protocol'. The VRAG is such measure but in its traditional form requires the completion of the PCL-R, an interview based assessment requiring a trained rater. Its replacement within the VRAG with the CATS, a records based assessment which is substantially faster to calculate without the requirement for either an interview or trained interviewer, in a Canadian inpatient forensic population resulted in negligible loss of reliability (Quinsey et al. 1998). The present study replicated this finding in a UK Forensic inpatient setting, the State Hospital, conducting a detailed quantitative examination of the distribution and patterns of discrepancies between the alternative versions of the scale and examining the relationship between PCL-R and CATS scale scores. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to both determine the internal structure of the PCL-R and examine how the CATS scale items mapped into the covariance structure of the PCL-R items. It was concluded that the calculation of the VRAG replacing the PCL-R score with the CATS is a reliable and cost effective alternative.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available