Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

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Violence Prevention

The Violence Prevention Research Unit (VPRU) studies the epidemiology of violent individuals; investigates links between psychopathology and violence; develops methods to estimate risk of future violence; and operationalises decision support for managing violence risk.

VPRU is a member of the WHO Violence Prevention Alliance and is active in the development of preventive interventions at the secondary & tertiary levels.

  1. Overview
  2. Projects
  3. Staff

The Unit focuses on research into the epidemiology and prevention of violence. It investigates causal mechanisms that explain violent behaviour in mental health care settings, with an emphasis on the links between violence and both severe mental illness and personality disorder. It evaluates the effectiveness of mental health care services in preventing violence.
The research uses quantitative methods with statistical modelling of new instruments for the assessment of violence risk. It provides a unique translational focus into the application of violence risk modelling into risk management applications and interventions.

Core resources of the unit are jointly funded through Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT). Core staff include a Professor - Jeremy Coid, two senior lecturers - Constantinos Kallis and Simone Ullrich

There are five further research staff funded through grants.

The Unit has generated more than £5 million in competitive research income in the past 10 years. Funding bodies include the Wellcome Trust, National Institute for Health Research, Department of Health, and Ministry of Justice.

East London First Episode Psychosis Study. A cohort of incidence cases of psychosis in East London who have been followed up at 10 years since first contact.

Second Men’s Modern Lifestyles Survey

Cross sectional study of young adult men in Great Britain with additional boost surveys of BME men and those in areas of extreme socioeconomic deprivation.
Carried out in 2011, the survey extended to young adult men in Greater Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China in 2012 and 2013.
Studies quantifying the risks of violence at the population level, particularly those resulting from psychiatric morbidity, and carried out in combination with data from national studies of health and wellbeing in the population of Britain in collaboration with Office of National Statistics and more recently The National Centre for Social Research (NatCEN).

Development of new generation static and dynamic risk assessment instruments.
Statistical modelling of datasets on incidence cases of psychosis, patients discharged from medium secure services, and released prisoners with personality disorder. This project combines the validation of the new instruments in new samples.

Development of a multistage, multi-model system for risk assessment and management of offending behaviour using Bayesian networks. Development of causal models for violence in different populations with high violence risk, with a view to generating decision-support tools for criminal justice and mental health professionals. This is a joint project with the Risk and Information Management (RIM) group and electronic engineering and computer science at QMUL.

Long-term secure forensic psychiatric care: patient characteristics, needs and possible service models (Chief Investigator: B Vollm, Nottingham University).

All projects currently funded by a Programme Grant for Applied Research from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and a NIHR Research for Patient Benefit grant.

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