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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Assessing Forensic Mental Health Need: Policy, Theory and Research

Andrea Cohen and Nigel Eastman

Price: £30.00

College members' price: £27.00

Published: Apr 2000

Format: Hardback

Number of pages: 228

ISBN: 9781901242423

Mentally disordered offenders (MDOs) have dominatd the recent political agenda for mental health care emphasised by cases such as those of Christopher Clunis and Michael Stone. Yet successive governments have constrained the development of all health and social services by the requirement that they must be demonstrated as capable of benefiting those to whom they are applied.
This book analyses the development of government policy for services for MDOs since the important Butler report in 1975 and provides a theoretical framework for adjudging research which purports to demonstrate a need and outcome. Finally, it emphasises the subjective and value-laden nature of all needs assessments and their interpretation and poses the crucial questions of whose need it is that we address through MDO services, those of the patient or of society.
This book will be valuable to clinicians and researchers working in mental health services, policy-makers, service commissioners and managers.
  • An analysis of the history of the MDO policy in relation to needs assessment pre and post the important Reed Report.
  • A methodological framework for needs assessment of MDOs.
  • Critical appraisal of alternative definitions of needs and of related concepts.
  • Critical analysis of the application of needs assessment methods.
  • A review of research relevant to needs assessment for MDOs.
  • Needs in relation to outcome.
  • An analysis of recent policy development related to MDO services.


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