Instruments to assess suicide risk: a systematic review


Trends Psychiatry Psychother.




Abstract Introduction Suicide is an issue of great severity in public health worldwide. This study aimed to investigate which instruments are most frequently used by healthcare professionals to assess suicide risk and how accessible such instruments are, as well as to determine the scope of suicide phenomena. Method A systematic review was performed using the following Boolean searches: “scale AND suicide,” “evaluation AND suicide,” “questionnaire AND suicide.” The articles retrieved were read and selected by two independent researchers – any discrepancies were addressed by a third researcher. Results From a total number of 206 articles, 20 instruments were identified as being currently used to assess suicide risk. The two most common were the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (BSI) and The Columbia – Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS). Conclusion Even though the two scales (BSI and C-SSRS) are the most frequently mentioned and used by healthcare professionals to assess suicide risk, both instruments present breaches in their structure and there is not yet a single instrument considered to be the gold standard. As a future perspective, there is the urgency of developing a new tool that can widely and completely assess all psychopathological aspects of suicidality.

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