Do PHQ-9 Results Predict Suicide?
Can asking one question accurately assess suicide risk? If the question is item 9 on the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), the answer may be yes. Researchers in a large integrated health system examined outcomes for more than 84,000 outpatients who completed the PHQ-9 at every visit for depression between 2007 and 2011. Patients who reported thoughts of death or self-harm “more than half the days” or “nearly every day” experienced a markedly increased risk of subsequent suicide attempt and suicide death. For this high-risk group, additional assessment is clearly indicated, the authors said.