Year: 2023 Source: Archives of Suicide Research. (2023). 27(2), 246-260. SIEC No: 20231066
Objective: Evidence-based suicide prevention interventions directed to those seeking psychiatric crisis services for suicidality in the emergency department (ED) can reduce death by suicide and related suffering. Best practice guidelines for the care of suicidal patients in the ED exist but are not accompanied by fidelity tools for use in determining whether the interventions were applied, particularly when more than one intervention is delivered concurrently. We sought to develop a universal, treatment-agnostic Suicide Care Fidelity Checklist comprised of Key Performance Elements (KPE) across the recommended suicide-specific ED interventions. Method: A comprehensive review of published care standards was first conducted to determine suicide-specific ED best practice treatment domains and KPEs. Subject matter experts (SMEs) were identified for each domain. Using the Delphi Consensus method, SMEs iteratively revised and refined the KPEs within their domain until achieving KPE item consensus. Results: A total of three iterations was required to obtain consensus in five of six domains: comprehensive suicide assessment, lethal means counseling, suicide crisis planning, behavioral skills training, and psychoeducation about suicidality. Consensus was not fully attained for the domain involving engagement with people with lived experience. Conclusions: We successfully identified six intervention domains and 74 KPEs across domains (60 deemed essential, and 14 deemed optional), with full consensus reached for 70 KPEs. While replication of the initial findings is required, the Suicide Care Fidelity Checklist can be used as a fidelity checklist to verify delivery of suicide-specific ED interventions.HIGHLIGHTSApplied Delphi Consensus method with suicide-specific subject matter experts.Generated a treatment-agnostic, universal set of suicide prevention KPEs for EDs.Expert-derived KPEs help real-world settings to assess suicide care fidelity.