Risk assessment and management of violence in general adult psychiatry

by Dr Fiona Toal, Professor Paul Mullen and Professor James Ogloff


Last updated: October 2010


This module gives an introduction to the concept of systematic risk assessment and management within psychiatry which can be incorporated into daily clinical practice.


We first summarise the epidemiological evidence relating to the risk of serious violence within populations with major psychiatric disorder (including the schizophrenias). We then place this in the context of overall serious violence within the community.


We discuss the risk factors known to be associated with violence and specifically focus on the dynamic factors that are potentially modifiable by clinical intervention.


We describe the various tools currently available to clinicians to assist in risk assessment and explore the potential benefits and limitations of these tools.


Finally, we summarise the practical interventions that can assist in managing violence including psychological, pharmacological and social interventions. Video interview is used to present some of the information.


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Please note: This module was last updated in 2010. A revision is being worked on, but in the meantime please be aware when completing the module that some of the guidance may have changed.


If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Assessment of personality by Professor Peter Tyrer and Dr Caroline Methuen


Assessment and treatment of sexually abnormal behaviour by Dr Harvey Gordon


Substance misuse in older people by Dr Rahul Rao and Professor Ilana Crome



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