Question: How effective are cognitive behavioural interventions (e.g. anger management) compared to no intervention at reducing aggression, violence and anger in people within psychiatric and offender populations (prison, hospital or community)?


Limited evidence, from two small RCTs and observational studies included in a systematic review suggests that group CBT interventions may be associated with short-term, post-treatment improvements in measures of anger, aggression and hostility in incarcerated violent offenders. The longer-term effects of group CBT in this population remain unknown, as no study reported follow-up data beyond the end of treatment. There are no consistent data on the effects of individual CBT, the effects of group CBT in other relevant populations, or the effects of CBT on incidence of violent or aggressive behaviour or recidivism rates in violent offenders.

Further research is required to assess the longer-term effects of CBT in relevant populations and to ascertain the optimal format, mode of delivery and duration of CBT.

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