The effect of using checklists on forensic child sexual abuse evaluations
Meurman, Emma (2016)
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Research suggests that forensic child sexual abuse evaluations are not following evidence-based practice guidelines. In the present study we examined the potential benefits of using a checklist in these evaluations. We hypothesized that a checklist would contribute to an increased use of evidence-based considerations in the decision-making process, which, in turn, would improve the quality and legal usefulness of forensic psychological case reports. We tested this assumption through an experimental design. An experiment group was instructed to use a checklist when writing a forensic psychological case report. The control group did not receive a checklist. The rating of the case reports was divided into two conditions: a psychological rating, where quality of content was assessed, and a juridical rating, where legal usefulness was assessed. While the checklist significantly increased the number of evidence-based considerations in the written case reports, the observed increase for legal usefulness of these case reports did not reach statistical significance. The results of the present study suggest that checklists are a cost-effective way of improving professional practice. Because the present study is underpowered, replications are needed.
- 515 Psykologia