Self-Perceptions Studies Presented at AP-LS 2017 Conference

Lab members presented two papers on self-perceptions of risk for violence & self-harm at this year’s American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) 2017 Conference in Seattle, Washington on March 16 - 19.

 

Do Patients’ Minimize Self-Perceived Levels of Risk, When Talking to Clinicians Rather than Researchers?

Lina Montoya, B.S. – University of California, Berkeley; Jen L. Skeem, Ph.D. – University of California, Berkeley; Sarah M. Manchak, Ph.D. – University of Cincinnati

Patients’ self-perceptions of risk predict violence and self-harm more strongly than clinical judgment and as strongly as clinically-feasible tools. Although the utility of patients’ self-perceptions has been demonstrated in three studies, patients disclosed their risk to researchers who protect confidentiality and do not influence patient care. In this study of over 600 patients, application of machine-learning and inverse propensity-weighting approaches indicated that patients disclose similar levels of perceived risk to researchers and to clinicians. Patients appear both able to predict their own involvement in violence, and willing to disclose those predictions even when doing so may not be in their self-interest.

 

Patients’ Self-Perceptions of Risk for Self-Harm Out Predict Clinical Judgment and Assessmentsara_presenting_apls_2017.jpg

Sara Ellis – University of California, Berkeley; Michael S. Galloway, B.A. – University of California, Berkeley; Jen L. Skeem, Ph.D. – University of California, Berkeley; Sarah M. Manchak, Ph.D. – University of Cincinnati

Tools relevant to assessing risk of self-harm have proliferated, but are resource intensive and rarely applied in general psychiatric settings. This study shifts focus from clinical prediction to patients’ self-prediction. In this longitudinal, multi-informant study, we assessed 571 psychiatric patients with co-occurring disorders in hospitals — and then followed them for 20 weeks in the community after discharge. Patients’ self-perceptions of risk significantly outperformed clinical judgment in predicting self-harm—and performed as well as the Beck Hopelessness Inventory. Patients’ self-perceptions hold clear promise as a method for improving risk assessment in routine clinical settings.