The adaptation of a measure of confidence in assessing, formulating, and managing suicide risk
Sandford, D.M., Kirtley, O.J., Thwaites, R., Dagnan, D & O'Connor, R.C.
Background: To date little has been done to evaluate the effectiveness of suicide risk formulation training. Aims: We aimed to investigate the psychometric properties of a new scale measuring clinicians' confidence in assessing, formulating, and managing suicide risk. Method: A total of 128 mental health practitioners from an UK National Health Service Trust completed the scale. Of them, 85 from an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies service did so before and after training in Risk Assessment, Formulation, and Management (RAFM); 28 practitioners from the Older Adults service also completed the measure. For test-retest analysis, a further 15 completed the scale again 1 week after baseline without attending any training. Of the training group, 52 (61%) completed the measure at the 6-month follow-up. Results: Analysis indicated a single-factor structure, good test-retest reliability, and statistically significant increases in confidence between pre- and posttraining and between pretraining and 6 month follow-up. Cohen's effect size values suggest a moderate-to-large effect. Limitations: The relatively small sample sizes indicate that this study should be considered a preliminary investigation of a new measure, which warrants further replication. Conclusion: This measure could be useful in gauging practitioners' confidence in the RAFM approach and in evaluating and developing training.