Violence risk assessment in psychiatric patients in China: A systematic review

Jiansong Zhou, Katrina Witt, Yutao Xiang, Xiaomin Zhu, Xiaoping Wang, Seena Fazel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The aim of this study was to undertake a systematic review on violence risk assessment instruments used for psychiatric patients in China.

Methods: A systematic search was conducted from 1980 until 2014 to identify studies that used psychometric tools or structured instruments to assess aggression and violence risk. Information from primary studies was extracted, including demographic characteristics of the samples used, study design characteristics, and reliability and validity estimates.

Results: A total of 30 primary studies were identified that investigated aggression or violence; 6 reported on tools assessing aggression while an additional 24 studies reported on structured instruments designed to predict violence. Although measures of reliability were typically good, estimates of predictive validity were mostly in the range of poor to moderate, with only 1 study finding good validity. These estimates were typically lower than that found in previous work for Western samples.

Conclusion: There is currently little evidence to support the use of current violence risk assessment instruments in psychiatric patients in China. Developing more accurate and scalable approaches are research priorities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-45
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Violence
  • Risk assessment
  • Systematic review
  • Prediction
  • China

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