MSRC News Details

MSRC Members among authors of new study regarding the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale

MSRC Members Gregory K. Brown, Ph.D. and Maria A. Oquendo, M.D. are among the authors of a study published November 8, 2011 in the The American Journal of Psychiatry. The study looks at the effectiveness of a questionnaire aimed at predicting which patients would make a suicide attempt.

Known as the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale, the evaluation tool's success has its creators hopeful that it will make a big difference in treating patients. “For the first time, we are better-identifying the people we need to get to and help, redirecting our limited resources,” said Kelly Posner, a PhD in clinical psychology who is the lead author and developer of the test. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh also worked develop the scale.

In the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Ms. Posner and colleagues compared the effectiveness of several questionnaires used to assess patients. That meant analyzing three separate research studies involving more than 500 patients. One group was adolescents who had already attempted suicide, the next was a pharmaceutical study of depressed teenagers getting a new medication, and the third was a study of adults who came to an emergency department in mental distress.

Looking back at what happened to these patients, Ms. Posner's team found that in all cases the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale accurately predicted which would make a suicide attempt.

Access the article directly through The American Journal of Psychiatry (Access/Membership required)

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