European violence risk and mental disorders (EU-VIORMED): A multi-centre prospective cohort study protocol

G. De Girolamo, G. Carrà, H. Fangerau, C. Ferrari, P. Gosek, J. Heitzman, H. Salize, M. Walker, J. Wancata, M. Picchioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The link between schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) and violence is a core issue for most forensic psychiatric services. However, the drivers of violence in this population remain unclear, and, to date tools to predict violence risk have a range of limitations. Perhaps because of this uncertainty about the nature of violence risk, treatment programmes and care pathways for mentally disordered offenders vary substantially across the European Union, and differences in legal and policy frameworks are highly relevant. Methods: The three-year EU-VIORMED project (Grant Number PP-2-3-2016, November 2017-October 2020) involves forensic centres in Italy, Austria, Germany, Poland, and the U.K. It aims to: (a) identify and compare violence risk factors, clinical needs, and decision making capacity in violent (N = 200, "cases") and nonviolent patients with SSD (N = 200; "controls") using a case-control design; (b) test the predictive validity of the HCR-20v3, OxMIS and FoVOx among cases alone (N = 200), using a prospective cohort study; and (c) compare forensic-psychiatric care pathways across the EU, in a continent wide service mapping study. Discussion: Data collection started in September 2018 and continues. By September 2019, 333 participants have been enrolled (201 cases and 132 controls were recruited). Experts from 23 countries provided data for the service mapping exercise. Trial registration: Retrospectively registered on January 2, 2019 as researchregistry4604 January 2, 2019 © 2019 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Article number410
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Forensic psychiatry
  • HCR-20
  • Risk assessment
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social cognition
  • Violence
  • Article
  • Austria
  • cohort analysis
  • decision making
  • Europe
  • geographic mapping
  • Germany
  • health care need
  • health program
  • human
  • Italy
  • mental disease
  • multicenter study
  • Poland
  • predictive validity
  • prospective study
  • risk factor
  • social cognition
  • United Kingdom
  • violence


Dive into the research topics of 'European violence risk and mental disorders (EU-VIORMED): A multi-centre prospective cohort study protocol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this