Screening for mental disorder using the UK national offender assessment system

Bui, Laura and Ullrich, Simone and Coid, Jeremy W. (2016) Screening for mental disorder using the UK national offender assessment system. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 27 (6). pp. 786-801. ISSN 1478-9949 (Accepted for Publication)

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Probation officers have large caseloads with high levels of psychiatric morbidity but receive minimal training in recognising/managing mental health problems. In the UK, there is no national screening procedure for mental illness among offenders that is considered effective. This study’s aim was to develop a screening system for mental/personality disorders using the Offender Assessment System. Seven screens for mental disorder were developed using items from assessments on 574 prisoners: alcohol misuse, drug dependence, antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy, learning difficulties, psychosis and severe mood disturbance. Internal validation showed that the screens performed well across accuracy estimates. Prevalence of mental disorders identified with the screens in test and validation samples was similar. However, the psychopathy and severe mood disturbance screens may be more effective in screening for true negatives. The screens are an economical method for prioritising mental health needs of the UK prison and probation population using routinely collected data.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, published July 2016. [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at:
Keywords: Mental illness, offender populations, personality disorder, screening
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Social Science
Depositing User: Andrew Taylor
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2017 15:55
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2017 15:19

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