Screening for suicidality in cancer patients using Item 9 of the nine-item patient health questionnaire; does the item score predict who requires further assessment?


Walker, J; Hansen, CH; Hodges, L; Thekkumpurath, P; O'Connor, M; Sharma, N; Kleiboer, A; Murray, G; Kroenke, K; Sharpe, M; (2010) Screening for suicidality in cancer patients using Item 9 of the nine-item patient health questionnaire; does the item score predict who requires further assessment? General hospital psychiatry, 32 (2). pp. 218-20. ISSN 0163-8343 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2009.11.011

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine whether a higher score on Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (range zero to three) was more likely to indicate suicidality as determined at subsequent clinical interview in cancer outpatients. METHOD Analysis of anonymized data (with ethical approval) obtained from the routine clinical administration of self-report questionnaires and telephone interviews to patients attending a cancer centre in the UK. RESULTS Complete data were available on 330 patients. Those with higher scores on the item were more likely to be suicidal at interview. However, a substantial number of those (54/235; 23%) who scored only one on the item were also found to be suicidal. CONCLUSIONS A higher score on Item 9 of the PHQ-9 indicates a greater likelihood that the patient is suicidal. However, even patients who score only 1 may be suicidal and consequently also require further assessment.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 20302999
Web of Science ID: 276293500016
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2006396

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