Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

Research News


New Paper Shows Suicide Risk Identifiable Via Predictive Modeling

June 15, 2015

John F. McCarthy, PhD, affiliated investigator with the HSR&D Center for Clinical Management Research (CCMR) at VA Ann Arbor, and Director of the National Serious Mental Illness Treatment Research and Evaluation Center (SMITREC), along with VA operational partners and NIH colleagues, published a study on June 11, 2015 in the American Journal of Public Health, demonstrating the effectiveness of predictive modeling in identifying Veterans at risk for suicide. Using case-control data from suicide deaths and living patients from 2008-2011, modeling demonstrated that suicide rates in the study cohort were greater than the rates in the overall sample, in all risk stratums. Given the ability to identify Veterans at risk for suicide, Dr. McCarthy and colleagues suggest using this modeling technique to enhance clinical care and guide the delivery of preventive interventions for Veterans who are at elevated risk for suicide, such as the 5% of patients who account for 24% of suicides in the VHA each year.


Further reporting on this study can be found in the New York Times and USA Today .