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A study of forensic psychiatric screening reports and their relationship to full psychiatric reports / SIFER

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A study of forensic psychiatric screening reports and their relationship to full psychiatric reports

The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology. Vol 18(3) s. 331 – 341 | 2007

Sammendrag

In Norway the prosecuting authorities can request a forensic psychiatric screening
report in order to determine whether a full forensic psychiatric report is required.
This study explores three research questions. Are such screening reports considered
relevant by the prosecution authorities? To what extent are their
recommendations followed? What is the concordance of the conclusions of the
screening reports and the full reports? This study analysed the screening reports
issued on 419 defendants by Oslo Police District’s Office for Forensic Psychiatry
in 2002 – 2005, and the 91 (22%) full reports issued on these defendants. All
reports were evaluated using a structured rating form. Of the 118 screening
reports that recommended a full report, 50% were followed up by the prosecution
authorities. In contrast, non-recommendation of a full report was almost always
followed, while 16% of open recommendations resulted in a full report. Instigation
of a full report was significantly associated with major crimes, and with positive
recommendation compared to open recommendation. The concordance between
screening and full reports was 46% regarding psychosis, 78% regarding unconsciousness,
and 94% regarding mental retardation. Based on these findings,
the value of the system of screening reports seems to lie primarily in negative
recommendations. Low concordance between screening and full reports, and
the limited follow-up of expert recommendations for full reports, indicate that the
system has questionable validity.