Year: 2020 Source: Crisis. (2020). 41(5), 407-411. SIEC No: 20200988

Background and Aim: The Suicide Cognitions Scale (SCS) was developed to assess a broad range of suicide-related cognitions. Research to date supports the scale’s factor structure, internal consistency, and construct validity. The present study tested the scale’s prospective validity for suicide attempts among 97 military personnel presenting to an emergency department or psychiatric outpatient clinic for an unscheduled walk-in evaluation. Method: Cox regression and receiver operator characteristic analyses were conducted to test the prospective validity of the SCS. Results: Results supported the prospective validity of the SCS (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.69) and indicate the scale’s performance is comparable to an empirically supported measure of suicide ideation (AUC = 0.75). The SCS performance was not reduced by removing items containing the word suicide. Limitations: Homogeneous sample comprised of US soldiers, predominantly male, with recent suicidal ideation. Conclusion: Results support the SCS as an indicator of subsequent risk for suicidal behavior when used in acute care settings, and suggest the scale’s performance is similar to more traditional suicide risk screening methods that depend on honest self-disclosure of suicidal thoughts.