Rating scales no good for predicting suicide

Suicide experts are advising against the use of standardised rating scales for predicting self-harm after two British studies have found they don’t work.

An evaluation of six different risk scales commonly used following suicidal behaviour found no evidence to support their diagnostic use.

In fact, most patients with positive scores are not at highest risk.

A better approach for doctors is to use their own judgement, say the authors, whose work is published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

They note that clinical usefulness requires an adequate positive predictive value, but values

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