Year: 2000 Source: General Hospital Psychiatry, v.22, no.6, (November-December 2000), p.445-451 SIEC No: 20010649

This study explored the usefulness of clinical rating scales in the assessment of suicidal risk in an urban psychiatric teaching hospital. 6 clinical scales identified high-risk patients: the Modified SAD PERSONS Scale, revised Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Hopelessness Scale, Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation, & the High-Risk Construct Scale (NEW). A correlation matrix & regression analysis was performed to determine which scale(s) best predicted admission based upon suicidal concerns. The previously untested NEW scale was the best predictor followed by the Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation. Clinical rating scales cannot predict suicide in individual cases & strict cut-off scores should not be used to dictate hospital admission. However, the information gathered can be a valuable adjunct to suicide risk assessment in psychiatric & non-psychiatric emergency settings. (22 refs.)