News Release

Supplementing patient health questionnaire with suicide cognition scale questions improves identification of individuals at highest risk of suicide

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Academy of Family Physicians

Researchers from academia and the U.S. military sought to determine if suicide risk screening can be improved to better identify highest-risk patients. Patients eligible to receive medical treatment from the U.S. Department of Defense medical system were recruited from six military primary care clinics in five military installations across the country. Adding one of three Suicide Cognitions Scale (SCS) items to the Patient Questionaarie (PHQ-9) self report measure during routine primary care clinical visits improved the accuracy of identifying those patients who were at the highest risk of suicidal behavior within a month of screening positive.


One byproduct of augmenting the PHQ-9 is a potential reduction in unnecessary treatment and/or misallocated resources — a benefit to both patients and physicians, considering a majority of patients who screen positively on the PHQ-9 suicide risk item do not attempt or die by suicide.


Improving Suicide Risk Screening to Identify the Highest Risk Patients: Results From the PRImary Care Screening Methods (PRISM) Study

Craig J. Bryan, PsyD, ABPP, et al

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio

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