Year: 2022 Source: Archives of Suicide Research. (2022). 26(4), 1895–1910. SIEC No: 20221086

Objective: Discrepancies between patient reports during clinical evaluations and self-reported suicide ideation are of vital importance. We study the agreement in passive suicidal ideation between reports made by clinicians and patients’ self-reports.

Method: Wish of death in 648 outpatients was assessed by attending clinicians. Within 24 h after clinical evaluation, patients completed a self-report questionnaire in which they were asked whether they had no desire to live. We used cluster analysis to determine the clinical profile of a population of patients according to the concordance between reports made by clinicians and self-reported information.

Results: A low level of agreement (kappa = 0.072) was found between clinicians and patients, as 56.4% (n = 366) of clinician reports classified as containing no death-related ideas although on self-report the patient did state that they had no desire to live. In this group containing discrepancies between the two reports, two clusters were found to have shared characteristics: female sex, middle age, cohabitation, active employment, no history of suicidal behavior, and diagnosis of neurotic, stress-related, and somatoform disorders. In a third, more severe cluster, patients self-reported sleep disturbances, less appetite, poor treatment adherence, and aggressiveness.

Conclusions: We found low agreement between self-reports and clinician assessments regarding the death wish. Self-reporting may be useful in assessing suicide risk. HIGHLIGHTSLow agreement was found between self-reports and clinician assessments regarding passive suicidal ideation.Most patients in whom the clinician underestimated the risk of suicide were women.Our results suggest that clinicians require adequate documentation of suicidal risk assessment to identify the high-risk population.