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Webster L, Eisenberg A, Bohnert AS, Kleinberg F, Ilgen MA. Qualitative evaluation of suicide and overdose risk assessment procedures among veterans in substance use disorder treatment clinics. Archives of suicide research : official journal of the International Academy for Suicide Research. 2013 Jul 29; 16(3):250-62.
The objective of this study was to examine risk assessment practices for suicide and unintentional overdose to inform ongoing care in substance use disorder clinics. Focus groups were conducted via telephone among a random sample of treatment providers (N = 19) from Veterans Health Administration substance use disorder clinics across the nation. Themes were coded by research staff. Treatment providers reported consistent and clear guidelines for risk assessment of suicide among patients. Unintentional overdose questions elicited dissimilar responses which indicated a lack of cohesion and uniformity in risk assessment practices across clinics. Suicide risk assessment protocols are cohesively implemented by treatment providers. Unintentional overdose risk, however, may be less consistently assessed in clinics.