Integrating static and modifiable risk factors in violence risk assessment for forensic psychiatric patients: a feasibility study of FoVOx.
Forsman J., Cornish R., Fazel S.
INTRODUCTION: Risk assessment is integral to forensic psychiatry. Previous work has highlighted the benefits of using scalable and evidence-based actuarial risk tools developed within forensic populations, such as the online Forensic Psychiatry and Violence Oxford (FoVOx) violence risk assessment tool. We examined the feasibility of using FoVOx in a Swedish forensic cohort and tested whether adding modifiable (dynamic) factors would increase its useability to clinicians. METHODS: We completed FoVOx assessments on all patients discharged from forensic psychiatric hospitals in Stockholm County, Sweden, between 2012 and 2017 and investigated recidivism rates. In addition, interviews were conducted with the clinicians responsible for each patient on the perceived accuracy, usefulness, and impact of FoVOx, which was examined using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Ninety-five discharges from forensic psychiatric hospitals were followed up. The median FoVOx score was a 7% likelihood of violent reoffending in two years after discharge. Six discharged patients (6%) were confirmed as violent recidivists using official records with a similar distribution of FoVOx risk categories as the rest of the sample. FoVOx was considered accurate by clinicians in more than half of cases, who suggested that modifiable risk factors could be added to increase acceptability. All clinicians thought that FoVOx was useful, and in 20% of discharges, it would have materially altered patient care. Overall, FoVOx was thought to impact decision-making and risk management, was practical to use, and could be completed without reference to written case material. CONCLUSION: Completing FoVOx in forensic psychiatric hospitals can complement current approaches to clinical decision-making on violence risk assessment and management.