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Am J Psychiatry. 1985 Jun;142(6):680-6.

Development of a clinical instrument to estimate suicide risk.


This report details the development of an empirical suicide risk scale for adults hospitalized due to a depressive or suicidal state. The authors studied 2,753 such subjects prospectively regarding 101 psychosocial variables. In a 2-year follow-up, 136 (4.94%) of the subjects had committed suicide. Rigorous statistical analysis, including a validation procedure, identified 15 variables as significant predictors of suicidal outcome. These were translated into a paper-and-pencil scale that gives an estimated risk of suicide within 2 years. Such an instrument can provide a valuable supplement to clinical judgment and a quantitative expression of suicide risk.

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