Navigation Links
Suicide Checklist Spots People at Highest Risk
Date:11/8/2011

By Lisa Esposito
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The latest rating scale to determine a person's risk of committing suicide might be better than other such scales at spotting people in most urgent need of help, researchers report.

The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) was developed eight years ago and is already used by clinicians, emergency responders and others. The new study, appearing online Nov. 8 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, backs its use with new evidence.

Researchers who created the scale weighed its scientific validity against the Columbia Suicide History Form, on which the newer scale builds, and the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation, which is considered the gold standard of assessment tools, said study author Kelly Posner, director of the Center for Suicide Risk Assessment at Columbia University.

A big difference, Posner said, is that the C-SSRS measures a wider range of potentially suicidal behaviors.

"In the past, people would [only] have asked about suicide attempts," Posner said, adding that "the scale identified a range of behaviors -- preparatory behaviors -- writing a will, buying a gun. Now we're getting at these things. [A person] with just one behavior is eight to 10 times more likely to end their life."

"Suicidal ideation" means talking or thinking about killing yourself. The scale has five degrees of ideation, ranging from "wish to be dead" to "active suicidal ideation with specific plan and intent."

"The Beck scale only looks at ideation and the Columbia History only looks at behavior," while the newer scale rates both, Posner explained. "It more clearly delineates the types of thoughts we need to get at."

Posner said that assessing suicide risk should be part of any routine medical visit.

"I believe it should be, with 50 percent of people [who commit suicide] seeing their primary care physician within the month before they die," she said. "It's a public health crisis, but a preventable public health crisis. We need to do better at screening and identifying."

The test is easy to incorporate into busy medical practices, Posner said. "Not only does it take just one or two minutes to administer, the screening version can be a few questions. It reduces false positives and it's less burdensome than not doing anything at all, when you're asking the correct questions."

Health Canada, the New York City fire department and public school system, the Baltimore police department, the U.S. National Guard and the Israeli Defense Forces have sought training in using the C-SSRS or are already using it, Posner noted.

"I get calls from judges hearing cases. They're using it to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and interventions -- the same way schools are using it to redirect limited resources where they need to go," she said.

To evaluate the C-SSRS, the survey was given during three studies. One involved 124 adolescents who had attempted suicide and another involved 237 adults who went to a hospital emergency department for psychiatric reasons. The third was a trial testing the effectiveness of a medication for 312 depressed adolescents. The U.S. National Institutes of Health and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention funded the research.

Lanny Berman, executive director of the American Association of Suicidology, said: "The study is a valuable addition to our understanding of suicide ideation and behavior. Its findings add weight to our hope that we can adequately measure, psychometrically, behaviors that are predictive of untoward outcomes we seek to prevent.

"This scale helps in accomplishing that with those who inform us of their having suicide ideation," Berman added. "That said, a significant proportion of those who die by suicide deny or do not inform us that they are thinking of suicide before they engage in lethal self-destructive behavior, hence we need better tools to assess risk for suicide without relying on communicated ideation as a starting point for that assessment."

Said Posner: "Some people aren't going to tell you, no matter what you ask." But, "a majority of people when asked will be forthcoming and will tell -- the point is we're better identifying those who will and are at greatest risk."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on suicide prevention.

SOURCES: Kelly Posner, Ph.D., director, Center for Suicide Risk Assessment, Columbia University, New York City; Lanny Berman, Ph.D., ABPP, executive director, American Association of Suicidology, Washington, D.C.; Nov. 8, 2011, American Journal of Psychiatry, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New findings could lower risk of suicide in men with prostate cancer
2. University of Missouri program helps teachers prevent teen suicides
3. Homicide, suicide outpace traditional causes of death in pregnant, postpartum women
4. Suicide Rates Vary by Region: CDC
5. NIH funds continued research in suicide prevention in China
6. Firearm Suicide Methods Vary by Gender: Study
7. Teens, College-Age Youth at High Risk of Suicide, Expert Says
8. Insulation from public pressure leads to more accurate suicide reporting by death investigators
9. Many Military Vets in College Plagued By Thoughts of Suicide
10. Mayo Clinic: Primary physicians may hold key to suicide prevention
11. Suicide Among Veterans All Too Common, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Suicide Checklist Spots People at Highest Risk
(Date:12/10/2016)... WASHINGTON, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... December 10, 2016 ... ... children’s Christmas wish lists for Santa are all sources of external stimuli that ... season. For some, the added pressure to spread holiday cheer through gifts, food ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... ... aural rehabilitation—provided by audiologists—to remain a critical part of public access to hearing ... Administration (FDA) announced this week that, starting immediately, it would no ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... The Justin Veatch Fund ... (NCADD) is recommending the film Whispering Spirits and its discussion guide for ... as an education tool in the war against teen drug abuse. NCADD is ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... MEDI+SIGN®, a provider of ... a new solution for Emergency Departments (ED) has been added to their portfolio. ... Department examination rooms, and with a simplified pallet of information available to the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... After enjoying record-breaking attendance at its ... its 33rd Annual Issues & Research Conference, March 2-3, 2017, at the ... conference is “Persistent Challenges and New Opportunities: Using Research to Accelerate the Dialogue." ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... Mass. , Dec. 9, 2016 MSD, ... and supply chain solutions to alternate site health care ... with First Choice Medical Supply ("First Choice"), a privately ... servicing the skilled nursing and home health segments. We ... family. This compelling transaction will deliver ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... 2016   Hudes Laser Aesthetica announced ... multi-wavelength Astanza Trinity laser and Astanza Liberty IPL ... tattoo removal, IPL hair removal, pigmented and vascular ... Laser Aesthetica is setting high standards for aesthetic ... promises to deliver effective, long-lasting results. ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... forecasts the global optical transceiver market to grow at a CAGR ... covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global ... report considers the revenue generated from the shipment of optical transceivers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: