USPSTF: Not Enough Evidence to Recommend Screening for Suicide Risk — Physician’s First Watch
USPSTF: Not Enough Evidence to Recommend Screening for Suicide Risk
By Kristin J. Kelley
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says there is insufficient evidence on whether or not primary-care interventions reduce suicide risk in adolescents, adults, and older adults who haven't been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.
Patients at high risk for suicide more often present in emergency departments, not through routine screening, says the task force. The grade I statement (i.e., there is inadequate evidence “to assess the balance of benefits and harms” of a practice) is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and updates the group's 2004 recommendation.
The USPSTF advises primary care clinicians to screen for depression when there can be adequate follow-up. High-risk patients (e.g., those with psychiatric disorders or those who've been to the ED for self-harm) should be monitored to reduce the risk for suicide.