Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among youth ages 12 to 17 in the United States. However, most youth at high risk for suicide go unrecognized and untreated, and for half of adolescent suicides, the first suicide attempt is fatal To improve identification of youth at risk for suicide, in response to RFA-MH-14-070, Pediatric Suicide Prevention in Emergency Departments, we propose a multi-site collaborative project with the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) and the Whiteriver PHS Indian Hospital. These EDs serve geographically and socio-demographically diverse groups of youth, including American Indian youth who are at particularly high risk for suicide. In Study 1, we will implement a universal suicide risk assessment using a broad range of risk factors with 6743 youth, ages 12 to 17 years, who present to one of 14 emergency departments (EDs) during randomly chosen screening shifts. We will follow-up a subsample of 30% of these youth, enriched for suicide risk factors, at 3 and 6 months.
Our specific aims are to: (1) develop a computerized adaptive screen (CAS) for predicting suicide attempts;(2) compare the psychometric properties (e.g., sensitivity, specificity) of the CAS to those of a standard screen, the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ);(3) test the ability of the Implicit Association Test (IAT), a behavioral test of implicit suicidal cognitions, to add incrementally to the prediction of suicide attempts above and beyond screening scores;and (4) develop and validate a parsimonious CAS-based algorithm for risk stratification to facilitate the triage of youths. In Study 2, we will recruit a new sample of 2340 youth (stratified by suicide risk factors), administe the CAS and ASQ, and follow-up youth at 3-months with interviews and medical chart reviews. Our Study 2 aim is to validate the specificity and sensitivity of the CAS and ASQ for predicting suicide attempts. The optimal screen developed in this collaborative project will have the potential to be disseminated nationwide to enhance the capacity of emergency departments to identify and effectively triage youth at acute risk for suicide attempts. This project is significat because the screening and triage of at-risk youth in healthcare settings are key strategies of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention to reduce adolescent suicide. It is highly innovative because it will develop and test a computerized adaptive screen (CAS), which results in individualized sequences of screening questions conditional on previous responses;and it will test a wide range of acute suicide risk indicators for possible inclusion in the CAS. In addition, this project will test the incremental value of the IAT, which is important as many at-risk youth may deny suicidal thoughts. This project is feasible given PECARN's strong infrastructure and record of successful recruitment, and the investigative team's collective experience in multi-site studies, computerized adaptive testing, and youth suicide research in ED settings.

Public Health Relevance

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among youth ages 12 to 17 in the United States. However, most youth at high risk for suicide go unrecognized and untreated, and for half of adolescent suicides, the first attempt is fatal. In response to RFA-MH-14-070, Pediatric Suicide Prevention in Emergency Departments, we propose to develop and validate optimal strategies for youth suicide risk screening and triage in medical emergency departments. These aims align directly with the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (US DHHS, 20120) and the Healthy People 2020 Objective MHMD-2: Reduce Suicide Attempts by Adolescents.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
Project #
1U01MH104311-01
Application #
8755416
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-D (03))
Program Officer
Goldstein, Amy B
Project Start
2014-08-12
Project End
2017-07-31
Budget Start
2014-08-12
Budget End
2015-07-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$3,450,281
Indirect Cost
$543,334
Name
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Department
Psychiatry
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
073133571
City
Ann Arbor
State
MI
Country
United States
Zip Code
48109