Sexual violence risk assessment: an investigation of the interrater reliability of professional judgments made using the risk for sexual violence protocol

Sutherland, A.A., Johnstone, L., Davidson, K.M., Hart, S.D., Cooke, D.J., Kropp, P.R., Logan, C., Michie, C. and Stocks, R. (2012) Sexual violence risk assessment: an investigation of the interrater reliability of professional judgments made using the risk for sexual violence protocol. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 11(2), pp. 119-133. (doi: 10.1080/14999013.2012.690020)

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Abstract

The RSVP is a set of structured professional judgment guidelines for assessing risk of sexual violence. We investigated the interrater reliability (IRR) of judgments made using the RSVP in a multidisciplinary forensic-clinical context. Raters were 28 forensic mental health and intellectual disability professionals with diverse training and experience. They used the RSVP to evaluate six case vignettes that varied with respect to offense characteristics, clinical complexity, and level of risk. The IRR of ratings for individual risk factors was generally fair. There was a good level of interrater reliability on Summary Judgments and Supervision Recommendations. Interrater reliability was highest when used by professionals who were highly trained in forensic risk assessment. On average, professionals with lower levels of specialist training agreed less with their colleagues and experts, and provided higher estimations of sexual violence risk. Lower levels of agreement were found in cases with moderate levels of complexity and risk. The RSVP can be used to make judgments of risk with adequate levels of interrater reliability. However, this is dependent on the training and expertise of professionals who use the tool. Methodological strengths and limitations are considered, followed by a discussion of implications for training, practice, and future research.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Davidson, Professor Kate
Authors: Sutherland, A.A., Johnstone, L., Davidson, K.M., Hart, S.D., Cooke, D.J., Kropp, P.R., Logan, C., Michie, C., and Stocks, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
ISSN:1499-9013
ISSN (Online):1932-9903
Published Online:08 June 2012

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