SOS-training (2013 – 2018)
Self-wise Other-wise Streetwise: a group-based skills training
Patients with co-occurring substance use and other mental disorders are particularly prone to crime victimization, yet no evidence-based preventive interventions existed. In the current project, we have developed a new intervention – the Self-wise, Other-wise, Streetwise (SOS) training – that aims to reduce patients’ vulnerability to victimization. The SOS-training is a 12-session group training consisting of three modules, focused on improving emotion regulation skills, conflict resolution skills and street safety skills.
Recently, we have tested the efficacy of the SOS-training as add-on to care as usual. The results of our RCT have recently been published in Addiction (see: publications). We concluded that, among dual diagnosis patients, care as usual plus SOS-training was more effective in preventing victimization than care as usual alone. The training manual will be made available via this website.
ALERT (2015 – now)
Anti-victimization: online emotion-regulation training
In a recent prevalence study, depressed patients were 3.4 times more likely to be victim of a violent crime in comparison to people in the general population. Depressed patients turned out to be particularly vulnerable to violent crimes such as assault, threat and sexual crimes. Emotion dysregulation (ED) is considered to be both a consequence of prior victimization and a predictor of future (re)victimization. The influence of ED on victimization seems highly relevant for patients with depression, since several studies have identified ED as a risk factor and maintaining factor for depression.
In this study, we want to examine the effectiveness of the addition of an online Emotion-Regulation Training (ERT) to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in reducing future victimization in depressed patients who have been violently victimized in the past three years. ERT is a short and adapted version of the Affect Regulation Training (ART) as developed by Berking (2007). ERT will be provided as a therapist-guided online training that consists of 6 sessions, in which patients learn to recognize, accept, analyze and modulate their negative emotions. Patients will be randomly allocated to regular CBT or to regular CBT complemented with ERT. We will not only examine the effectiveness of the addition of ERT in reducing victimization, but additionally will focus on depressive symptoms, emotion-dysregulation and other secondary clinical outcomes, such as interpersonal functioning and dysfunctional thoughts. Furthermore, we aim to enhance knowledge regarding the underlying mechanisms of victimization.
Prevalence and risk factors (2011 – 2015)
Our first victimization research project was part of a longitudinal study (2005-2011) among SMI patients. The aim of the victimization study was to examine in 2011 the 1-year prevalence of violent and non-violent victimization among patients with SMI in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Victimization rates of out-patients, patients in sheltered housing facilities and in-patients were compared with average victimization rates in a weighed sample of the general population of Amsterdam and five surrounding towns. We examined the relationships between the perpetrator and the victims, and finally we looked at associations between victimization and the clinical setting, sociodemographic risk factors, clinical characteristics and indices of substance use. We were able to follow up 216 patients from the original sample of 323 SMI patients. The comparison group consisted of 10 865 participants. This research project contributed significantly to the scientific development of the conceptual model of victimization in SMI patients.