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The Chronological Assessment of Suicide Events: A Practical Interviewing Strategy for the Elicitation of Suicidal Ideation

Shawn Christopher Shea, M.D.

Published: June 1, 1998

Article Abstract

Suicide assessment is one of the cornerstones of daily clinical practice for both mental health professionalsand primary care clinicians. A practical interviewing strategy for efficiently eliciting validsuicidal ideation is presented. The strategy is illustrated via a reconstructed interview designed tohighlight key teaching points. The strategy, the Chronological Assessment of Suicide Events (CASEApproach), helps the clinician to uncover critical data in four contiguous time frames: (1) presentingsuicidal ideation/behavior, (2) recent suicidal ideation/behaviors, (3) past suicidal ideation/behaviors,and (4) immediate suicidal ideation. The CASE Approach is an easily learned interviewing strategy,designed for busy, frontline clinicians in both the mental health and primary care settings.

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Volume: 59

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