Monitoring, assessing, and responding to suicide risk in clinical research

J Abnorm Psychol. 2020 Jan;129(1):64-69. doi: 10.1037/abn0000489.


It is essential that investigators in clinical research settings follow ethical guidelines for monitoring, assessing, and responding to suicide risk. Given the unique considerations associated with suicide risk assessment in a research context, resources informing the development of research-specific suicide risk management procedures are needed. With decades of collective experience across heterogeneous contexts, we discuss approaches to monitoring, assessing, and responding to suicide risk as a function of study sample (e.g., students, psychiatric inpatients), data collection methodologies (e.g., interview, self-report, or ecological momentary assessment), and study design (e.g., treatment research). Additional considerations include training and supervision of staff to identify suicide risk, coordination of others to respond to risk, and documentation of procedures. Finally, we attend to the impact of these procedures on the external validity of outcome data. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Ecological Momentary Assessment
  • Humans
  • Research
  • Research Design*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*