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OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to undertake a systematic review on violence risk assessment instruments used for psychiatric patients in China. METHODS: A systematic search was conducted from 1980 until 2014 to identify studies that used psychometric tools or structured instruments to assess aggression and violence risk. Information from primary studies was extracted, including demographic characteristics of the samples used, study design characteristics, and reliability and validity estimates. RESULTS: A total of 30 primary studies were identified that investigated aggression or violence; 6 reported on tools assessing aggression while an additional 24 studies reported on structured instruments designed to predict violence. Although measures of reliability were typically good, estimates of predictive validity were mostly in the range of poor to moderate, with only 1 study finding good validity. These estimates were typically lower than that found in previous work for Western samples. CONCLUSION: There is currently little evidence to support the use of current violence risk assessment instruments in psychiatric patients in China. Developing more accurate and scalable approaches are research priorities.

Original publication




Journal article


Aust N Z J Psychiatry

Publication Date





33 - 45


China, Violence, prediction, risk assessment, systematic review, Aggression, China, Humans, Mental Disorders, Predictive Value of Tests, Psychometrics, Reproducibility of Results, Risk Assessment, Violence