Forensic occupational therapists are one of the members of the multidisciplinary team who participate in the risk assessment process. However, the forensic occupational therapy risk assessment literature is largely descriptive and experience based, with little empirical research. This study investigated forensic occupational therapists' ideas about risk assessment and what risks they assess. A qualitative approach, using three focus groups of therapists working in different forensic settings, provided the data. The analysis of the data found that four themes emerged: risk perceptions and interpretations, fundamental information, risk behaviours and occupations, and environments. These themes support a number of aspects of risk assessment in the forensic occupational therapy literature and could be categorised under the components of the person, the environment and occupational performance and participation. There was, however, limited evidence in the literature and in this study about the risks associated with occupations and about client-centred approaches to risk assessment. Further research of these aspects, and a comparison between forensic occupational therapy risk assessment and multidisciplinary risk assessment, is recommended.
British Journal of Occupational Therapy Vol. 72, Issue 12, p. 531-538