C-SSRS Useful for Assessing Suicidal Ideation and Behavior

Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale is suitable for use in clinical and research settings

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) is a useful standardized measure for assessing suicidal behavior and ideation, according to a study published online Nov. 8 in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Kelly Posner, Ph.D., from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues assessed the psychometric properties of the C-SSRS, which was designed to quantify the severity of suicidal ideation and behavior. Validity of the C-SSRS was compared with alternate measures of suicidal ideation and behavior, and three multisite studies were carried out to analyze the internal consistency of C-SSRS's intensity of ideation subscale.

The investigators found that, relative to other multi-informant suicidal ideation and behavior scales, the C-SSRS showed good convergent and divergent validity. Measured against another behavior scale and an independent suicide evaluation board, the C-SSRS had high sensitivity and specificity for suicidal behavior classifications, with both the ideation and behavior subscales being sensitive to change over time. Moderate to strong internal consistency was seen in the intensity of ideation subscale. In a treatment study of 124 adolescent suicide attempters, the C-SSRS's worst point lifetime suicidal ideation predicted suicide attempts, but the Scale for Suicide Ideation did not. The greatest chances for attempting suicide during the study were for patients with the two highest levels of ideation severity (intent or intent with plan) at baseline.

"These findings suggest that the C-SSRS is suitable for assessment of suicidal ideation and behavior in clinical and research settings," the authors write.

Several of the study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and receiving royalty payments for the electronic self-rated versions of the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale from ERT Inc.

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