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The p4 screener: evaluation of a brief measure for assessing potential suicide risk in 2 randomized effectiveness trials of primary care and oncology patients.
Dube P, Kurt K, Bair MJ, Theobald D, Williams LS. The p4 screener: evaluation of a brief measure for assessing potential suicide risk in 2 randomized effectiveness trials of primary care and oncology patients. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry. 2010 Jan 1; 12(6).
Depression is the most common mental disorder, and suicide is its most serious consequence. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate preliminary evidence for the P4 screener as a brief measure to assess potential suicide risk.
The P4 screener was prospectively evaluated in 2 randomized effectiveness trials of primary care (January 2005-June 2008; N = 250) and oncology patients (March 2006-August 2009; N = 309). Potential suicide ideation was assessed at 5 time points in both trials: baseline and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. The P4 screener asks about the "4 P's": past suicide attempts, suicide plan, probability of completing suicide, and preventive factors. Patients were classified as minimal, lower, and higher risk based upon responses to these 4 items.
A suicide assessment was triggered 1 or more times by 17.6% (44 of 250) of Stepped Care for Affective Disorders and Musculoskeletal Pain (SCAMP) participants and 16.5% (51 of 309) of Indiana Cancer Pain and Depression (INCPAD) participants at some point in the trial. Of the patients who triggered a suicide assessment, the majority (29 of 44 in SCAMP and 27 of 51 in INCPAD) were classified as minimal risk by the algorithm. Only 1 (0.4%) of the SCAMP participants and 5 (1.6%) of the INCPAD participants were classified as higher risk. Among the latter, the most common factors preventing patients from attempting suicide were the "4 F's": faith, family, future hope, and fear of failing in their attempt.
Preliminary findings suggest that the P4 screener may be useful in assessing potential suicide risk in the clinical care of depressed patients as well as in clinical research.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00118430 (SCAMP) and NCT00313573 (INCPAD).