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The use of test instruments in forensic report writing : explorative research in Flanders

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Abstract
Background Forensic psychiatric reports have a profound impact on the life of a defendant, on society and on the mental health system. Good-quality reports are essential but are often criticized for their lack of thorough substantiation. The use of multiple methods to obtain information, test instruments (psychological and/or risk) and third-party information are recommended. Study purpose To explore the use of test instruments and third-party information, as part of a multi-method approach, in forensic psychiatric evaluations. We examined 151 court-ordered expert reports in Flanders (Belgium). Results A psychological test instrument was used in 61% of the cases, and a risk taxation instrument in 19% of the cases. Third-party information was used in 43% of the cases. Conclusions A multi-method approach is not common practice in forensic psychiatric evaluations. The use of validated test instruments and third-party information can be improved. The quality of forensic reports could be improved by the establishment of a forensic observation centre and the use of a standardized approach.
Keywords
Forensic psychiatric report writing, Test instruments, Third-party information

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Citation

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MLA
De Clercq, Machteld, and Freya Vander Laenen. “The Use of Test Instruments in Forensic Report Writing : Explorative Research in Flanders.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LAW AND PSYCHIATRY, vol. 66, 2019.
APA
De Clercq, M., & Vander Laenen, F. (2019). The use of test instruments in forensic report writing : explorative research in Flanders. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LAW AND PSYCHIATRY, 66.
Chicago author-date
De Clercq, Machteld, and Freya Vander Laenen. 2019. “The Use of Test Instruments in Forensic Report Writing : Explorative Research in Flanders.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LAW AND PSYCHIATRY 66.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Clercq, Machteld, and Freya Vander Laenen. 2019. “The Use of Test Instruments in Forensic Report Writing : Explorative Research in Flanders.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LAW AND PSYCHIATRY 66.
Vancouver
1.
De Clercq M, Vander Laenen F. The use of test instruments in forensic report writing : explorative research in Flanders. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LAW AND PSYCHIATRY. 2019;66.
IEEE
[1]
M. De Clercq and F. Vander Laenen, “The use of test instruments in forensic report writing : explorative research in Flanders,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LAW AND PSYCHIATRY, vol. 66, 2019.
@article{8620416,
  abstract     = {Background
Forensic psychiatric reports have a profound impact on the life of a defendant, on society and on the mental health system. Good-quality reports are essential but are often criticized for their lack of thorough substantiation. The use of multiple methods to obtain information, test instruments (psychological and/or risk) and third-party information are recommended.
Study purpose
To explore the use of test instruments and third-party information, as part of a multi-method approach, in forensic psychiatric evaluations. We examined 151 court-ordered expert reports in Flanders (Belgium).
Results
A psychological test instrument was used in 61% of the cases, and a risk taxation instrument in 19% of the cases. Third-party information was used in 43% of the cases.
Conclusions
A multi-method approach is not common practice in forensic psychiatric evaluations. The use of validated test instruments and third-party information can be improved. The quality of forensic reports could be improved by the establishment of a forensic observation centre and the use of a standardized approach.},
  articleno    = {101454},
  author       = {De Clercq, Machteld and Vander Laenen, Freya},
  issn         = {0160-2527 	},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LAW AND PSYCHIATRY},
  keywords     = {Forensic psychiatric report writing,Test instruments,Third-party information},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {The use of test instruments in forensic report writing : explorative research in Flanders},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2019.101454},
  volume       = {66},
  year         = {2019},
}

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