John Kennedy, MD


Assessing Violence Risk in Psychiatric Inpatients: Useful Tools

July 01, 2007

Psychiatrists who work in inpatient units are faced with daily decisions about predicting which patients will be violent, both in the hospital and after discharge. These decisions are often made using unstructured clinical judgment based on the clinician's experience and knowledge of the literature. How long such judgment stays the standard of care remains to be seen, because psychiatric researchers have produced a number of assessment and management tools to improve the accuracy and use of violence risk assessment. This article briefly outlines 3 tools: the Brøset Violence Checklist (BVC), the Classification of Violence Risk (COVR), and the Historical Clinical Risk-20 (HCR-20).