The Dynamic Appraisal of Situational Aggression (DASA) is a seven-item observer-rated actuarial risk assessment instrument that is used to assess the likelihood of imminent aggression (within the next 24 hours) in mental health inpatients. DASA is generally rated once per day by unit-based nursing staff, although other qualified staff can complete ratings as well, and ratings can also be made more regularly than once per day.
Staff completing DASA consider whether each of the seven items is present and then produce a total score and risk ratings by summing the rating for each item. The predictive accuracy of DASA has been repeatedly demonstrated in both civil and forensic mental health units.
DASA is now used in various settings, countries and with various populations. It is one of only two instruments recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (2015) to help monitor and reduce incidents of violence and aggression and to help develop a risk management plan in inpatient mental health settings.