Background: To date, no diagnostic tool has demonstrated clinical value for the assessment of short-term suicide risk among high-risk individuals. To this end we have developed the Modular Assessment of Risk for Imminent Suicide (MARIS), a modular patient and clinician informed risk evaluation instrument. Here we assess its predictive validity for suicidal behavior (SB) in psychiatric patients following discharge from an inpatient unit.
Methods: The MARIS and a psychological test battery were administered to 136 adult psychiatric patients hospitalized for high risk of suicide. Eighty-six participants had complete data at discharge and 59 (69.8%) were reached for follow-up. Logistic regressions were used to assess the predictive validity of the MARIS for SB over the 4-8weeks following hospital discharge and its incremental predictive validity over standard risk factors.
Results: Patients who exhibited SB in the period between initial assessment and follow-up had significantly higher MARIS scores. ROC analysis indicated good sensitivity and specificity of MARIS in identifying risk (OR=19). Further, MARIS total score significantly improved predictive validity by the standard risk factors when added to a model comprising global depression severity, hopelessness, and lifetime number of suicide attempts, and was the only factor that approached independent significance.
Conclusion: The MARIS appears to be a practical and effective tool for detecting short-term suicide risk following hospital discharge, supporting the validity of modular multi-informant approach to suicide risk evaluation. Replication of these findings and further investigation of the applications of such an approach are warranted.
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