The development of a screening test for suicide risk in 10-to-15- year-old school children: a tool for people-centered public health

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Ming-shun Chung
Hsien-jane Chiu
Wen-jung Sun
Chieh-nan Lin
Chien-cheng Kuo
Wei-che Huang
Ying-sheue Chen
Hui-ping Cheng
Pesus Chou


Objective: We aimed to develop a Screening Test for Suicide Risk (STSR) in 10-15-year-old school children as a tool for people-centered public health.Methods: 607 students filled out the Taiwanese Depression Questionnaire (TDQ) for assessing suicide risk and multiple logistic regression analysis was used to extract items in the STSR. Psychiatrists then used the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview-Kid to verify the validity of the STSR.Results: Prevalence of positive risk for these students was 17.8%. Five items were extracted for the STSR: “I felt like crying”, “I felt blue and depressed”, “I had trouble sleeping”, “I felt upset” and “I felt miserable and even wanted to die”. Any three of the five yielded the best-balanced algorithm with sensitivity of 70.4%, specificity of 66.8%, positive predictive value of 31.5% and negative predictive value of 91.3%.Conclusion: We extracted five items from the TDQ to create the STSR, which is a rapid screening test for screening suicide risk by 10-to-15-year-old school children. It is a practical and reliable tool in a school-based practice for the preliminary screening of potentially suicidal adolescents.

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