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BECKS SUICIDE SCALE

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Hi everyone,

I need more information about the 21 item Becks Suicide scale. The maximum score being 42, suggesting a high suicide intent. How can one interprete a score of 18 or 26. Is there any 'cut off' score?

Regards

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scores on scales are always dodgy. there is never a definite cutoff on a scale. nurses make decisions based on rating scale scores. doctors make decisions basec on history, MSE and a judgement of the situation. any borderline pd patient who has been in the system for a while knows what to say to get high scores on scales.

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I agree. I think scales on suicide are particularly dodgy because the aim is to try and prevent suicide, rather than predict it.

On the other hand, I can see things moving more towards scales and scores to justify and defend one's own practice (doing things the 'American' way?).

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do you have any evidence that americans use more scales than us for this sort of thing? i doubt that they do.

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Suicide scales might, just might, be appropriate for A+E staff, if only to make them think of a more broad array of psycho-social factors.

Scales of this sort have no place in psychiatric practice.  They are not valid, they are not reliable. Scores should not inform further management.

If it got to the point where I had to make certain decisions (for example to admit a patient) based on their score on some scale then I would quit psychiatry.  Apart from anything else the wards would be full of malingerers and bordeline personality disorders and we would have no where to admit patients for whom an admission may actually be worthwhile.

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do you have any evidence that americans use more scales than us for this sort of thing?  i doubt that they do.

I've added an American review of twenty-five suicide assessment measures (in PDF format), at this link, as the www.soterianetwork.org website lists a forthcoming conference about assessment methods:

http://www.soterianetwork.org/index.php?option=com_joomlaboard&Itemid=32&func=view&id=2&catid=3

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I recently came across a GP referral which mentioned PQ9 scale the GP had used.

Anyone used this in practice??

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These are characterstic Blair responses, oladmax has asked a specific question. Atleast try to help him to find the answer than 'reviewing' suicide assessment scales.

With 15 minute internet search I could find this one Study comparing SSI-C and SSI-W 19item by Beck. You can get it through athens account

Suicide ideation at its worst point: A predictor of eventual suicide in psychiatric outpatients

Aaron T Beck, Gregory K Brown, Robert A Steer, Katherine K Dahlagaard, Jessica R Grisham. Suicide & Life - Threatening Behavior. New York: Spring 1999. Vol. 29, Iss. 1; p. 1 (9 pages)

Cut off to low and high risk group SSI-C Raw score >2, ans SSI-W>16

If I get more specifi info will let you know

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lol - Blair responses

I am sceptic about scales for suicide risk...

BUT I think we don't use enough scales in measuring severity of depression in patients - ie response to medication.

Adding this to your practice can only help to measure scientifically the response to medication. If someone has high blood pressure - you would measure it, wouldn't you?

The BDI is great tool - but for instance, my TRUST only paid for the Psychology department to use it - trying to implement the Zung scale at moment.

So many hurdles to jump through.

I don't think we should resist using validated reliable scales like BDI/Zung or the revised HADRS

In terms of suicide risk - all tools are poorly validated due to it being such a rare event. Improving services is best way of reducing suicde risk....

My opinion anyway ;)

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