Assessment of near-term risk for suicide attempts using the suicide crisis inventory

Shira Barzilay, Krystel Assounga, Jacqueline Veras, Courtnie Beaubian, Sarah Bloch-Elkouby, Igor Galynker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The Suicide Crisis Syndrome (SCS) describes a pre-suicidal mental state marked by entrapment accompanied by affective disturbances, loss of cognitive control, hyperarousal and social withdrawal. This study tested the consistency and validity of the Suicide Crisis Inventory (SCI), a proposed measure of SCS severity, amongst a large, heterogeneous patient sample. Methods: The SCI was used to assess 867 adult psychiatric inpatients and outpatients. Confirmatory factor analysis, logistic regressions and area under the curve analyses (AUC) were used to examine internal structure, construct validity and predictive validity for suicide ideation, plan and attempt one-month post-assessment. Results: The five-factor model of the SCS demonstrated good fit and excellent internal consistency. SCI scores indicated significant associations but non-redundancy with depression, anxiety, and independence from other dimensions of psychiatric distress. SCI scores specifically predicted suicide attempts with an AUC of 0.733 and odds ratio=8.62 (p<0.001) at optimal cut-off point. SCI incremental predictive validity over and beyond suicidal ideation and attempts history reported at baseline was supported for predicting suicide attempts (β= 0.012, S.E = 0.006; p=0.046). Limitations: The SCI is subject to self-report bias and does not include the SCS social withdrawal component. Follow-up assessment retention was partial (68%, n=591). Conclusion: The SCI is validated as a tool for the assessment of the SCS intensity and of imminent suicidal behavior. The SCI is suggested as a tool that could aid both researchers and clinicians in comprehensive assessment of a pre-suicidal mental state within moderate to high-risk populations, regardless of self-report on suicidal intent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020


  • Risk assessment
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide
  • Suicide attempts
  • Risk Assessment
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Suicide, Attempted
  • Mental Disorders
  • Adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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