Year: 2022 Source: Journal of Affective Disorders, (2023), 320, 18-21. Published online 1 January 2023. SIEC No: 20221020
Background When screening for suicidality, clinicians usually ask questions in ascending order of severity. Clinicians often discontinue questioning after negative responses to the first question or questions, presuming that these individuals are unlikely to endorse any further suicidality. In this study, the accuracy of this presumption is evaluated in a large international sample. Methods Participants were 21,385 individuals reporting a suicide attempt in the past two weeks. Participants were recruited, primarily via Google Ads, to a quintilingual (English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Russian) multinational depression and suicide screening study. Results Examining three initial screening questions (i.e., thoughts of death, wanting to die, and thinking about committing suicide), 14.8 % (n = 3179) of participants denied one or more question, 3.96 % (n = 847) denied two, and 1.95 % (n = 416) denied all three questions. The proportions of individuals with discrepant responses differed between linguistic-geographical groups, with Chinese and South Asian groups being more likely to be discrepant across all questions (all ps < .001). Limitations Suicidality was assessed using an internet-based self-report measure, and linguistic-geographical groups explored in this study are very broad, which may limit generalizability. Conclusions Results suggest that prematurely discontinuing suicide screening may fail to capture some individuals who made a recent attempt, and that in some groups, this discrepancy may be more pronounced. Clinicians should assess all individuals as thoroughly as possible regardless of initial responses, inquire about other significant risk factors, and be culturally sensitive.