Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science

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Risk assessment and subsequent nursing interventions in a forensic mental health inpatient setting: Associations and impact on aggressive behaviour

Aim and objectives: To examine associations between risk of aggression and nursing interventions designed to prevent aggression. Background: There is scarce empirical research exploring the nature and effectiveness of interventions designed to prevent inpatient aggression. Some strategies may be effective when patients are escalating, whereas others may be effective when aggression is imminent. Research examining level of risk for aggression and selection and effectiveness of interventions and impact on aggression is necessary. Design: Archival case file. Methods: Data from clinical files of 30 male and 30 female patients across three forensic acute units for the first 60 days of hospitalisation were collected. Risk for imminent aggression as measured by the Dynamic Appraisal of Situational Aggression, documented nursing interventions following each assessment, and acts of aggression within the 24-hours following assessment were collected. Generalised estimating equations were used to investigate whether inte…

Author: Maguire, Tessa, Daffern, Michael, Bowe, Steven J., Mckenna, Brian
Publication year: 2018
Publication type: Journal article
Status: Live|Last updated:23 April 2018 1:54 PM
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Assessing change in dynamic risk factors in forensic psychiatric inpatients: Relationship with psychopathy and recidivism

This study explored change in dynamic risk for violence using the Clinical and Risk Management subscales of the Historical Clinical and Risk Management-20 version 3 (HCR-20 v3) and sought to determine whether change was associated with violent recidivism. The association between the magnitude of change and psychopathy was also assessed. Participants were 40 male (n = 32) and female (n = 8) forensic psychiatric inpatients discharged from a secure forensic mental health service. Results showed that participants significantly improved on the HCR-20v3 Clinical subscale but significantly worsened on the Risk Management subscale. Psychopathy was unrelated to change in Clinical and Risk Management subscales. The hypothesis that changes in dynamic risk would predict recidivism over and above total pre-treatment risk (HCR-20v3 Total score) and psychopathy was not supported. These results suggest that improvements in mental state risk factors alone are insufficient with regard to lowering violence risk.

Author: Mastromanno, Bianca, Brookstein, Delene M., Ogloff, James R. P., Campb...
Publication year: 2018
Publication type: Journal article
Status: Live|Last updated:14 March 2018 11:37 AM
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Inter-relationships among cultural identity, discrimination, distress, agency, and safety among indigenous people in custody

A strong cultural identity has been shown to protect against psychological distress prompted by discriminatory experiences. However, these associations are scientifically unknown for people who have contact with the criminal justice system. Examining the relationships between cultural identity and mental health could enlighten efforts to improve the wellbeing of offenders, many of whom have experienced numerous negative life events and stressors. This study aimed to address these concerns by assessing the influence of cultural identity on distress, agency, community safety and discrimination for 78 Indigenous prisoners in custody in Australia. Findings revealed that possessing a stronger cultural identity effected lower levels of distress. Participants with weaker cultural identities had higher levels of distress and lower levels of agency. Furthermore, a reduced feeling of safety in the broader community appeared to have a greater negative impact on participants with weaker cultural identities. Levels of dis…

Author: Shepherd, Stephane M., Delgado, Rosa Hazel, Paradies, Yin
Publication year: 2018
Publication type: Journal article (In press)
Status: Live|Last updated:5 March 2018 11:32 AM
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Perceived workplace adversity and correctional officer psychological well-being: an international examination of the impact of officer response styles

Correctional officers work in a highly challenging environment and are at a heightened risk of a range of negative stress-related health conditions. This study examines how correctional officer responses to adversity moderate the association between perceived workplace adversity and psychological well-being. The aim was to assess the degree that perceived workplace adversity predicts correctional officer psychological well-being and the subsequent impact on negative organizational outcomes such as absenteeism, presenteeism and job dissatisfaction. Hundred and seventy four officers completed an online questionnaire including measures of perceived workplace adversity, officer responses, psychological well-being and organizational impact. Structural Equation Modelling revealed that a heightened perception of workplace adversity predicted lower psychological well-being and in turn increased negative organizational impacts. Analyses indicated that using an interpersonal/solution focused response style moderated th…

Author: Trounson, Justin S., Pfeifer, Jeffrey E., Skues, Jason L.
Publication year: 2018
Publication type: Journal article (In press)
Status: Live|Last updated:28 February 2018 3:32 PM
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Adding an accredited exercise physiologist role to a new model of care at a secure extended care mental health service: a qualitative study

Background: Accredited exercise physiologists (AEPs) are emerging as essential members of allied health in the management of non-communicable chronic diseases. People diagnosed with severe mental illness (SMI) are at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases. Secure extended care units (SECUs) provide treatment, supervision and support for people with SMI whose needs cannot be met adequately in the community. However, the role of AEPs in SECUs has not been described. Aim: Describe the processes and outcomes of adding an AEP to a new model of care at a SECU. Methods: An exploratory study with emphasis on qualitative data. Interviews with a purposive sample of SECU staff. Results: Participants articulated concern about poor physical health of which two themes emerged (1) the development of the AEP role; a calculated gamble and (2) the practical application of the role. Conclusions: An AEP was identified as the role to best implement the organisations vision to improve physical health of people with SMI. Implement…

Author: Furness, Trentham, Hewavasam, Jude, Barnfield, Jakqui, McKenna, Brian,...
Publication year: 2018
Publication type: Journal article
Status: Live|Last updated:26 February 2018 12:31 PM
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Striking the right balance: police experience, perceptions and use of independent support persons during interviews involving people with intellectual disability

Background: Several jurisdictions mandate the presence of an independent support person during police interviews with vulnerable people. The current study investigated police officers’ experiences and perceptions of these volunteers during interviews with people with intellectual disability(ies) (ID). Methods: The sample comprised 229 police officers who attended a mandatory firearms training course in Melbourne, Australia, in 2010.Results: Participants commonly reported utilizing independent support persons and displayed a fair understanding of their role. Overall, volunteers were engaged more frequently than family/friends; police considered the volunteers to be more impartial during interviews, whereas family/friends provided a greater level of emotional support to interviewees. Conclusions: Independent support persons need to demonstrate two quite different types of support to people with intellectual disability(ies) during police interviews; these require quite different skill sets and suggest the need f…

Author: Henshaw, Marie, Spivak, Benjamin, Thomas, Stuart D. M.
Publication year: 2018
Publication type: Journal article
Status: Live|Last updated:26 February 2018 11:47 AM
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Popping the cultural bubble of violence risk assessment tools

Violence risk instruments are administered in medico-legal contexts to estimate an individual's likelihood of future violence. However, their ostensible limitations; in particular their mono-cultural and risk-centric composition, has drawn academic attention. These concerns may facilitate erroneous risk evaluations for certain non-white populations. Yet it remains unaddressed how cultural differences will be appraised in a risk assessment framework and which specific cultural factors should be considered. Provisions under the Canadian Criminal Code allow for Gladue Reports, to be sought by judicial officers prior to sentencing Indigenous people. Gladue Reports provide insights into an Indigenous person’s unique circumstances that may have led to their offending as well as community-based options for rehabilitation. We proffer that there may be value in augmenting the risk evaluation with culturally relevant Gladue style considerations identified by relevant Indigenous people to provide a more holistic account…

Author: Shepherd, Stephane M., Anthony, Thalia
Publication year: 2018
Publication type: Journal article
Status: Live|Last updated:26 February 2018 11:43 AM
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The impact of an intensive inpatient violent offender treatment programme on intermediary treatment targets, violence risk and aggressive behaviour in a sample of mentally disordered offenders

This study examined the impact of an intensive inpatient violent offender treatment programme, Life Minus Violence-Enhanced (LMV-E), on intermediary treatment targets, risk for violence, and aggressive behaviour during treatment in a sample of male mentally disordered offenders. Using quasi-experimental design, offenders who completed LMV-E and a comparison group showed reduced problems with impulsivity and anger regulation and improvements in social problem solving. Aggregate risk for future violence lessened in both treatment and comparison groups, although by a significantly greater degree for the comparison group. The aggressive behaviour of both groups reduced. Completion of the LMV-E conferred additional improvements in some facets of social problem solving and anger regulation. Neither group showed improvements in empathic responses, coping skills or problematic interpersonal style. Overall, these results suggest anger regulation, impulsivity and social problem solving are most amenable to change, that…

Author: Daffern, Michael, Simpson, Katrina, Ainslie, Hannah, Chu, Simon
Publication year: 2018
Publication type: Journal article
Status: Live|Last updated:26 February 2018 11:31 AM
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The reliability and predictive validity of the stalking risk profile

This study assessed the reliability and validity of the Stalking Risk Profile (SRP), a structured measure for assessing stalking risks. The SRP was administered at the point of assessment or retrospectively from file review for 241 adult stalkers (91% male) referred to a community-based forensic mental health service. Interrater reliability was high for stalker type, and moderate-to-substantial for risk judgments and domain scores. Evidence for predictive validity and discrimination between stalking recidivists and nonrecidivists for risk judgments depended on follow-up duration. Discrimination was moderate (area under the curve = 0.66-0.68) and positive and negative predictive values good over the full follow-up period (Mdn = 170.43 weeks). At 6 months, discrimination was better than chance only for judgments related to stalking of new victims (area under the curve = 0.75); however, high-risk stalkers still reoffended against their original victim(s) 2 to 4 times as often as low-risk stalkers. Implications f…

Author: McEwan, Troy E., Shea, Daniel E., Daffern, Michael, MacKenzie, Rachel ...
Publication year: 2018
Publication type: Journal article
Status: Live|Last updated:8 February 2018 10:11 AM
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Rehabilitation and mentally disordered offenders

Abstract not available.

Author: Daffern, M.
Publication year: 2014
Publication type: Book chapter
Status: Live|Last updated:5 February 2018 9:54 AM
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