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Dr. David Schaffer in Psychiatry Online

Task Force Recommends Against Suicide Screening in Primary Care
June 20, 2014 - June 23, 2014

There is no evidence that the primary care provider can prevent a suicide, much less determine which patients scoring high on the scale are `really’ suicidal. Why should the primary care physician want to accumulate high suicide screens if he or she cannot do anything about them and can be held liable for not being successful?


“Perhaps teaching primary care clinicians to evaluate, treat, and refer suicidal depression patients would be more useful than using untested check lists from patients,” Fawcett said.

And David Shaffer, M.D., of Columbia University, an expert on epidemiology of adolescent suicide, said the recommendation makes sense for adolescence, a time when suicides are rare despite the fact that suicide ideation is much more common than at any other time in life.


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