Level of Behavioral Health Integration and Suicide Risk Screening Outcomes in Pediatric Ambulatory Subspecialty Care


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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2022 Jan 25;75:23-29. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2022.01.005. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to characterize the outcomes of suicide risk screening among youth in subspecialty pediatric outpatient clinics.

METHOD: The Ask Suicide-Screening Questions questionnaire was administered to patients aged 9-24 years at 12 subspecialty clinics to assess suicide risk, as determined by suicidal ideation/behaviour. The standard SAMSHA-HRSA framework for integrated health was used to categorize each clinic’s level of behavioral health integration.

RESULTS: 6365 patients completed 7440 suicide risk screenings; 6.2% of patients tested positive during their initial screening and 4.1% during subsequent annual screenings. There was no dose-response pattern between increasing the level of integration and decreasing the likelihood of a positive suicide screen. Youth identifying as gender expansive were 3.1 times (95% CI [2.0, 4.9]) more likely to screen positive compared to cisgender youth, adjusted for age, gender, race/ethnicity, type of screen, year, and level of integration into the clinical.

CONCLUSION: Findings regarding disparities in suicide risk based on gender identity underscore the importance of further investigation into how to identify and optimally manage high-risk, often understudied youth. , at risk of suicide.

PMID:35101784 | DOI:10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2022.01.005


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