Clinical Professor, Psychiatry
Faculty of Medicine
UBC – Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission (FPSC)
BC Mental Health and Addiction Services / PHSA
Description of Research Program
My research interests focus on the complex and multi-layered interface between psychiatry and the law, with emphasis on the translation of research findings to effective, ethical, and patient-centered clinical practice.
- I have collaborated on projects on the neuroimaging, electrophysiological, and hormonal aspects of psychopathy, led a study of the epidemiology of mental disorder in correctional populations, and completed a study of aggression in a forensic hospital setting;
- My colleagues and I developed a concise clinical guide for the identification and assessment of risk and protective factors across seven clinical domains in persons with mental disorder (Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability, START);
- We completed a participatory action research study funded by the Mental Health Commission of Canada on the perceptions of persons with mental illness of their interactions with the police;
- A study funded by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation on patient engagement in a forensic setting is underway;
- We have implemented a program of research on resilience and recovery in forensic psychiatric populations;
- Further projects include: the development of a short-form assessment of adverse events in hospital settings; the evaluation of suicide assessment and management protocols, and strategies towards reduction in seclusion and restraint.
Mental Illness / Substance
Area of Research
Assessment, Clinical Risk Management, Epidemiology, Forensic psychiatry/psychology, Legal aspects of addictions/mental illness
Aggression, Dynamic risk factors, Impulsivity, Mental illness in incarcerated populations, Patient-centred care, Psychopathy, Recovery, Resilience, Risk assessment
View Complete List of Publications
Nicholls, T. L., Petersen, K., Brink, J., & Webster, C. (in press). A Clinical and Risk Profile of Forensic Psychiatric Patients: Treatment Team STARTs in a Forensic Service. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health Services.
Lecomte, T., Mueser, K.T., MacEwan, G.W., Laferriere-Simard, M.C., Thornton, A.E., Buchanan, T., Goldner, E., Brink, J., Ehmann, T.S., Lang, D., Kang, S., Barr, A.M., & Honer, W.G. (2010). Profiles of individuals seeking psychiatric help for psychotic symptoms linked to methamphetamine abuse – Baseline results from the MAPS (methamphetamine and psychosis study). Mental Health Subst Abuse, 3, 168-181.
Webster, C. D., Martin, M. L., Brink, J., Nicholls, T. L., & Desmarais, S. (2009). Manual for the Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START) (revised). Version 1.1. Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission, Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Nicholls, T. L., Brink, J., Desmarais, S., Webster, C. D., & Martin, M. L. (2006). The Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START): A prospective validation study in a forensic psychiatric sample. Assessment, 13, 313-327.
Brink. J. (2005). Epidemiology of mental illness in a correctional system. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 18, 536-541.