Mental health risk assessment: Traps to avoid in day-to-day clinical work

Posted on November 21, 2018
Time to read: 7 minutes

The emphasis on risk assessment in psychiatry has increased over the past four decades as a consequence of complex socio-political factors, including media pressure after a small number of catastrophic events. [1]

Given risk assessment is a quotidian task, it is important that psychiatrists have an awareness of the limitations of risk assessment in psychiatry. In this article, we outline the limitations of risk assessment and propose five key areas to consider when undertaking risk work in psychiatry: the evidence; values; legal constraints; operational constraints; and documentation.

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