Structured Assessment of Protective Factors for violence risk
Clinical use of the SAPROF - Update to SAPROF manual (January 2016)

Please note the following statement in the manual that by now is safe to be revised:  

On p. 21 of the SAPROF manual it states: "At present, this tool should be used mainly as a research instrument, though clinical use of the SAPROF is possible. The assessor should be careful when drawing conclusions regarding the assessment as there is still insufficient data on the psychometric properties of the SAPROF, in particular its predictive validity."

This statement was written when the SAPROF was first published in English in 2009. Since then the body of evidence for the psychometric properties of the SAPROF (in particular its reliability and predictive validity) have been studied extensively. Over 20 international studies have now been published and in general results are quite strong. Good interrater reliability and good predictive validity has been found in prospective as well as retrospective studies with patients/clients/offenders at different follow-up times and for different patient groups. Results have shown to be equally strong for predicting re-offending in those with a history of violent offending as well as for those with a history of sexual offending, and for both in-patient and community (sexual) violence. In addition, several studies have found incremental predictive validity of the SAPROF protective factors over risk-focused assessment tools. Moreover, it has been shown that changes (progress) in protective factors is significantly predictive of desistance: those who improve the most during treatment, show the lowest recidivism rates after discharge to the community. This is a very promising finding for clinical practice and makes the tool suitable for treatment guidance, progress evaluation and routine outcome monitoring. Since 2007 the tool has been implemented in clinical practice in many different countries around the world (15 different translations are now available) and clinicians have welcomed the tool with open arms, given its positive focus on empirically based and desistance / rehabilitation enhancing factors which provide valuable guideline to strengths based treatment guidance and risk management planning.

For an overview of SAPROF findings please see Research.

Therefore, we feel confident the caution statement on p. 21 of the SAPROF manual should now be revised into:

"Given the strong empirical findings regarding the psychometric properties of the SAPROF, in particular its interrater reliability, predictive validity for desistance in those with violent as well as those with sexual offending histories, and the demonstrated relation between improvements on protective factors and recidivism reduction, this tool may be used as a risk-assessment and treatment guidance tool in clinical practice as well as in research."



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