Suicide ideation at its worst point: a predictor of eventual suicide in psychiatric outpatients

A T Beck, G K Brown, R A Steer, K K Dahlsgaard, J R Grisham
Suicide & Life-threatening Behavior 1999, 29 (1): 1-9
Scales for measuring current suicide ideation (SSI-C), suicide ideation at its worst point in the patient's life (SSI-W), and hopelessness (BHS) were administered to 3,701 outpatients seeking psychiatric treatment. Thirty patients from this sample eventually committed suicide, within a mean of 4 years from the initial assessment. Based on cut-off scores derived from receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses, the SSI-W had an odds ratio of 13.84 for predicting suicide, whereas the SSI-C and the BHS had odds ratios of 5.42 and 6.43, respectively. The assessment of suicide ideation at its worst point identifies a subgroup of patients at relatively high risk for eventual suicide. Robust interventions and periodic monitoring for suicide ideation and hopelessness are recommended to reduce long-term suicide risk.

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