This work may not be copied, distributed, displayed, published, reproduced, transmitted, modified, posted, sold, licensed, or used for commercial purposes. By downloading this file, you are agreeing to the publisher’s Terms & Conditions.

Focus on Suicide

The Predictive Validity of the Beck Depression Inventory Suicide Item

Kelly L. Green, PhDa,*; Gregory K. Brown, PhDa; Shari Jager-Hyman, PhDa; Jason Cha, MPhilEdb; Robert A. Steer, EdDc; and Aaron T. Beck, MDa

Published: December 23, 2015

Article Abstract

Objective: The current study examines the predictive validity of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) suicide item for death by suicide and suicide attempts.

Method: The study included 2 samples: (1) 5,200 psychiatric outpatients who were evaluated between 1975 and 1995 and followed prospectively for up to 20 years (all psychiatric diagnoses based on DSM-III and DSM-III-R), and (2) 119 patients who, between 2000 and 2004, participated in a randomized controlled trial of outpatient Cognitive Therapy for Suicide Prevention after a suicide attempt and were followed for 18 months (all psychiatric diagnoses based on DSM-IV-TR). All patients completed structured diagnostic interviews, as well as the BDI and Scale for Suicide Ideation.

Results: Cox regression models demonstrated that the BDI suicide item significantly predicted both deaths by suicide (Wald χ21 = 35.67; P < .001 [N = 5,200]) and repeat suicide attempts (Wald χ21 = 8.82; P < .01 [N = 119]), with each successive rating on the item conferring greater risk. Using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, optimal cutoff scores of 1 and above for suicide and 2 and above for suicide attempts were identified as providing the best balance between sensitivity and specificity.

Conclusions: The BDI suicide item is associated with both risk of repeat suicide attempts and death by suicide. The use of the item as a brief, efficient screen for suicide risk in routine clinical care is recommended. Clinicians would then conduct a comprehensive suicide risk assessment in response to a positive screen. Future research examining the item’s performance in other at-risk groups (ie, older adults, adolescents, inpatients, etc) is encouraged.

Volume: 76

Quick Links: Depression (MDD) , Suicide

Continue Reading…

Subscribe to read the entire article

$40.00

Buy this Article as a PDF

References

Sign-up to stay
up-to-date today!

SUBSCRIBE

Already registered? Sign In

Original Research

Young-Adult Social Outcomes of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD that persisted into young-adulthood was associated with poorer outcomes in terms of education, employment, and emotional...

Read More...