Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START): the case for a new structured professional judgment scheme Academic Article uri icon

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  • The Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START) is a new structured professional judgment scheme intended to inform multiple risk domains relevant to everyday psychiatric clinical practice (e.g. risk to others, suicide, self-harm, self-neglect, substance abuse, unauthorized leave, and victimization). The article describes the processes involved in establishing an interdisciplinary approach to risk assessment and management. The authors present a review of the rationale for START, including the value of dynamic variables, the importance of strengths, and the extent to which clinicians must be attentive to multiple risk domains, reflecting theoretical and scientific evidence of the overlap among risks. Using the development, validation, and implementation of START as an example, the authors describe the processes by which other researchers, clinicians, and administrators could adapt existing assessment schemes or create new ones to bridge some remaining gaps in the risk assessment and management continuum.


  • Webster, Christopher D
  • Nicholls, Tonia L
  • Martin, Mary-lou
  • Desmarais, Sarah L
  • Brink, Johann

publication date

  • November 2006