Violence and aggression have mental and physical health consequences and costs for individuals and society. The aim of this review is to identify recent cross-sector innovative approaches in psychosocial interventions for managing violence and aggression in adults.
We used a horizon scanning approach. Inclusion criteria were clinical trials published or registered 2017–2020 evaluating interventions for perpetrators. We searched three electronic databases (Cinahl, Medline, PsycINFO) and international trials registries to identify documents and synthesized findings narratively.
Eighteen published and four registered trials were identified. Participants included veterans, intimate partner violence perpetrators, and prison inmates. Interventions where improvements were reported for participants on structured outcome measures included expressing gratitude, emotion recognition training, motivational plans/interviewing, art-psychotherapy, and trauma-informed shared narratives. Of interventions reviewed ‘signals’ or indicators of potential innovation were identified for reducing psychological aggression (e.g. denigration) and aggressive behaviour. A range of aggression outcome measures were utilized though all were not standardised and few were observational.
The recent innovative cross-sector approaches to managing violence and aggression in adults identified indicate a small but promising evidence base. Future research will add to this by using rigorous designs, developing standardised outcome measures and focussing on reducing aggressive behaviour leading to trauma and violence.