Year: 2020 Source: BMC Psychiatry. (2020). 20, 412. SIEC No: 20200710

The German Capability for Suicide Questionnaire (GCSQ) was developed to measure fearlessness of death and pain tolerance – two constructs central to the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide. Initial scale development, definition of the factor structure and confirmation of the two-dimensional factor structure was performed in samples suffering from relatively low levels of suicide ideation/behavior. The present study aimed to validate the German Capability for Suicide Questionnaire (GCSQ) in a high-risk sample of suicidal inpatients.

Factor structure, reliability and validity were investigated in a sample of inpatients (N = 296; 53.0% female; age in years: M = 36.81, SD = 14.27) admitted to a hospital due to a recent suicide attempt or an acute suicidal crisis (in immediate need of inpatient treatment). To establish convergent validity, interview-based assessments of lifetime suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-injury as well as questionnaire-based assessments of painful and provocative events were used. Finally, stability of GCSQ-scores over a follow-up period of 12 months was assessed.

Results indicated good psychometric properties, and provided additional evidence for construct validity and stability of the subscales over a one-year period, and demonstrated adequate fit of the data with respect to the original factor structure.

Results suggest that the GCSQ is a brief, reliable, and valid measure of capability for suicide that can be used in clinic assessment and research.