Conducting research with individuals at risk for suicide: protocol for assessment and risk management
Ward‐Ciesielski, Erin F.
Wilks, Chelsey R.
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Citation (published version)Erin F Ward‐Ciesielski, Chelsey R Wilks. 2020. "Conducting Research with Individuals at Risk for Suicide: Protocol for Assessment and Risk Management." Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp. 461 - 471. https://doi.org/10.1111/sltb.12602
OBJECTIVE: Suicide prediction, prevention, and intervention are urgent research areas. One barrier for research with high‐risk populations is limited resources to manage risk in a research setting. We describe using the University of Washington Risk Assessment Protocol (UWRAP) to assess and manage suicide risk during phone‐administered eligibility assessments in two clinical trials. METHOD: Study 1 (N = 151) recruited suicidal adults who were not engaged in mental health treatment and Study 2 (N = 135) recruited suicidal adults who used alcohol to regulate emotions. Pre‐ and postassessment ratings of stress, urge to harm self, urge to use drugs/alcohol, and intent to harm self were compared and strategies to manage increased suicide risk following screening interviews were implemented, as indicated. RESULTS: In both studies, average postassessment ratings were significantly lower than pre‐assessment. A minority of participants reported higher ratings on one or more domains; however, following more thorough suicide risk assessment, risk was appropriately managed by providing low‐level interventions (e.g., validation). CONCLUSIONS: Suicide risk in research involving community participants can be managed by using appropriate risk protocols.
Published in final edited form as: Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2020 April ; 50(2): 461–471. doi:10.1111/sltb.12602.