Assessment of Currently Available Suicide Screening Tools for Adolescents

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Health Sciences


School of Nursing

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Cara Gallegos


Background: In 2017, 1 in 5 Idahoan public and charter high school students reported seriously considering suicide (SPAN Idaho, 2018). Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine which current suicide screening tools for children and adolescents in the primary care setting are most effective in detecting suicidal ideation/risk. Methods: The databases ESCOHOST, Medline, and CINAHL were searched (2009 to present) using the following keywords: children, adolescents, youth, assessment, screening, suicide, primary care, primary healthcare. The titles and/or abstracts from 47 articles were returned and reviewed. 10 articles were entirely relevant to this project and were leveled for quality assurance. Results: Overall, there are 5 suicide screening tools adapted or created for children or adolescents currently available for implementation in the primary care setting. Of these tools, those with highest sensitivity and specificity, greatest versatility, and highest efficiency are the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) and the Ask-Suicide Screening Questions (ASQ). Conclusions: Both the C-SSRS and the ASQ screening tools are the most effective and valid tools to use in the primary care setting for young patients, although there is a great need for further research in this area.

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