Enquête internationale sur les pratiques d’évaluation du risque de violence : présentation des données belges

Translated title of the contribution: International survey of violence risk assessment practices: Presentation of Belgian data

Thierry Pham, Claire Ducro, Sarah L. Desmarais, Cristina Hurducas, Karin Arbach-Lucioni, Carolina Condemarin, Kimberlie Dean, Michael Doyle, Jorge O. Folino, Veronica Godoy-Cervera, Martin Grann, Robin M.Y. Ho, Matthew M. Large, Louise Hjort Nielsen, Maria Francisca Rebocho, Kim A. Reeves, Martin Rettenberger, Corine de Ruiter, Katharina Seewald, Randy K. OttoJay P. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)



Les professionnels de la santé mentale sont amenés à évaluer le risque de violence présenté par leurs patients. De nombreuses méthodes d’évaluation ont été développées et implémentées dans différents pays. Toutefois, les pratiques des professionnels n’ont à ce jour pas encore été comparées. Cette enquête a été développée au plan international, afin d’identifier les méthodes d’évaluation du risque de violence et de comparer leur utilité perçue par les psychologues, psychiatres et infirmiers psychiatriques. L’enquête a été complétée par 2135 répondants provenant de 44 pays répartis dans cinq continents. Cette étude se focalise spécifiquement sur les pratiques des professionnels en Belgique concernant l’évaluation du risque de violence. Les répondants ont déclaré utiliser les instruments afin d’évaluer, gérer et superviser les risques de violence. Plus de la moitié des évaluations se fait via l’utilisation d’un instrument structuré. L’évaluation du risque de violence constitue un enjeu mondial, tout comme l’utilisation d’instruments structurés. Les 86 professionnels belges répondants ne se distinguent pas particulièrement des professionnels des autres pays.


Mental health professionals are routinely called upon to assess the violence risk presented by their patients, frequently aided by structured instruments. Though surveys of risk assessment and management have been conducted, these efforts have been largely circumscribed to individual countries and have not compared the practices of members of different professional disciplines.


A web-based survey was developed to examine the international use of structured instruments in the violence risk assessment process across five continents and to compare the perceived utility of such instruments by psychologists, psychiatrists, and nurses. The survey was translated into nine languages and distributed to members of 59 national and international organizations following the Dillman total Survey Design method.

Belgium results

The Belgium sample was composed of 86 mental health professionals (69 psychologists, 12 psychiatrists, 1 nurse and 4 other professionals). Respondents had an average age of 43.93 years and 10.85 years of which was spend in practice. Over half of their time in the past 12 months was spent on clinical activities, most often in forensic hospitals followed by private practice and correctional institutions. Additional responsibilities over the past 12 months included administrative duties, teaching with comparatively little time being spent on research pursuits. Respondents reported having conducted an average of 211.68 violence risk assessment in their lifetimes, over half of which with the aid of a structured instrument. In the past 12 months, respondents conducted an average of 40.76 violence risk assessments, again over half of which using a structured instrument. Over both their lifetimes and the past 12 months, respondents reported that the instrument most commonly using in the violence risk assessment process were the: PCL-R (Psychopathy Checklist Revised; Hare 1991, 2003), the HCR-20 (Historical Clinical Risk; Webster, Douglas, Eaves, et Hart, 1997), the VRAG (Violence Risk Appraisal Guide; Quinsey, Harris, Rice et Cormier, 2006) and the SAPROF (Structured Assessment of PROtective Factors for violence risk; de Vogel, de Ruiter, Bouman, & de Vries Robbé, 2011). The PCL-R and the HCR-20 are the most used instruments. As for the perceived usefulness of these instruments by respondents, the utility for risk assessment was described as “quite useful” and “useful” for the PCL-R, HCR-20 and the SAPROF. The usefulness of the VRAG was more nuanced. To develop a violence risk management plan or implement violence risk management plan, the instruments were used less frequently, however, the HCR-20 was the instrument found most useful, followed by PCL-R and SAPROF.

Translated title of the contributionInternational survey of violence risk assessment practices: Presentation of Belgian data
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)539-543
Number of pages5
JournalAnnales Medico-Psychologiques
Issue number7
Early online date24 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'International survey of violence risk assessment practices: Presentation of Belgian data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this