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[Correlations between Beck's suicidal ideation scale, suicidal risk assessment scale RSD and Hamilton's depression rating scale]

J-L Ducher, J Dalery
L'Enc├ęphale 2008, 34 (2): 132-8
18597720

INTRODUCTION: Most of the people who will attempt suicide, talk about it beforehand. Therefore, recognition of suicidal risk is not absolutely impossible. Beck's suicidal ideation scale and Ducher's suicidal risk assessment scale (RSD) are common tools to help practicians in this way.

AIM OF THE STUDY: These scales and the Hamilton's depression scale were included in an international multicentric, phase IV, double-blind study, according to two parallel groups who had been administered a fixed dose of fluvoxamin or fluoxetin for six weeks. This allowed examination of the correlations between these scales and the relations, which could possibly exist between suicidal risk, depression and anxiety.

RESULTS: (a) Relationships between the Beck's suicidal ideation scale, the suicidal risk assessment scale RSD and Hamilton's depression before treatment. Before treatment, the analysis was conducted with 108 male and female depressive outpatients, aged 18 or over. Results revealed a significant positive correlation (with a Pearson's correlation coefficient r equal to 0.69 and risk p<0.0001) between Beck's suicidal ideation scale and the suicidal risk assessment scale RSD. These scales correlate less consistently with Hamilton's depression (Beck/Hamilton's depression: r=0.34; p=0.0004-RSD/Hamilton's depression: r=0.35; p=0.0002). We observed that the clinical anxiety scale by Snaith is also strongly correlated to these two suicidal risk assessment scales (Beck/CAS: r=0.48; p<0.0001-RSD/CAS: r=0.35; p=0.0005). Besides, the item "suicide" of Hamilton's depression scale accounts for more than a third of the variability of Beck's suicidal ideation scale and the suicidal risk assessment scale RSD. According to these results, the suicidal risk evaluated by these two scales seems to be significantly correlated with anxiety as much as with depression. On the other hand, the Clinical Global Impression is fairly significantly correlated with Beck's suicidal ideation scale (r=0.22; p=0.02), unlike the suicidal risk assessment scale RSD (r=0.42; p<0.0001) and Hamilton's depression scale (r=0.58; p<0.0001); (b) Relationships between Beck's suicidal ideation scale, the suicidal risk assessment scale RSD and Hamilton's depression under treatment. The follow-up under treatment (fluvoxamin or fluoxetin) during six weeks revealed the significantly better sensitivity of the RSD in comparison with Beck's suicidal ideation scale and Hamilton's depression scale, showing the significantly faster improvement in the RSD (p<0.0001). There was no significant difference between the evolution of Beck's suicidal ideation scale and Hamilton's depression scale. So, under treatment with fluvoxamin or fluoxetin, the improvement in suicidal risk appears to be as rapid as the improvement in depression. If we look at the treatment prescribed, only the suicidal risk assessment scale RSD revealed a significant difference between the two molecules, with more rapid improvement with fluvoxamin (p=0.015) from D14.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, the results of this study hypothesize that the suicidal risk, as assessed by Beck's suicidal ideation scale and the suicidal risk assessment scale RSD, appears to be consistently correlated with both the level of anxiety and depression. The study also suggests that all antidepressants may not be equally effective on suicidal risk.

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