The relationship between risk and insight in a high-security forensic setting
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It is often intimated amongst practitioners in mental healthcare that clients who display poor insight either into their mental health or behaviour present a greater risk either to themselves or others. This paper reports relationships found between the risk and insight subscales of the Behavioural Status Index. This is an instrument designed specifically for healthcare practitioners to measure health functioning amongst mental health clients, in particular those in forensic mental healthcare. Data were collected, using a repeated measures method by primary nurses, from a sample of 503 patients in two high-security mental health hospitals. Seven factors emerged through factor analysis. The first of these contained all the insight items. Significant differences were found on a number of factors between independent groups. Generally, results indicate that patients on lower dependency wards scored more normatively on the factors, adding to instrument validity. Men were found to score more normatively than women. Clinical practice implications and ongoing European studies examining the use of the instrument in clinical practice and its association with treatment planning are discussed.