Year: 2017 Source: Archives of Suicide Research. (2017). 21(2): 237-253. SIEC No: 20170177

The goal of this study was to describe the relative utility of the terms “means safety” versus “means restriction” in counseling individuals to limit their access to firearms in the context of a mock suicide risk assessment. Overall, 370 participants were randomized to read a vignette depicting a clinical scenario in which managing firearm ownership and access was discussed either using the term “means safety” or “means restriction.” Participants rated the term “means safety” as significantly more acceptable and preferable than “means restriction.” Participants randomized to the “means safety” condition reported greater intentions to adhere to clinicians’ recommendations to limit access to a firearm for safety purposes (F[1,367] = 7.393, p = .007,

). The term “means safety” may be more advantageous than “means restriction” when discussing firearm ownership and access in clinical settings and public health-oriented suicide prevention efforts.

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