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OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a higher score on Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (range zero to three) was more likely to indicate suicidality as determined at subsequent clinical interview in cancer outpatients. METHOD: Analysis of anonymized data (with ethical approval) obtained from the routine clinical administration of self-report questionnaires and telephone interviews to patients attending a cancer centre in the UK. RESULTS: Complete data were available on 330 patients. Those with higher scores on the item were more likely to be suicidal at interview. However, a substantial number of those (54/235; 23%) who scored only one on the item were also found to be suicidal. CONCLUSIONS: A higher score on Item 9 of the PHQ-9 indicates a greater likelihood that the patient is suicidal. However, even patients who score only 1 may be suicidal and consequently also require further assessment.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2009.11.011

Type

Journal article

Journal

Gen Hosp Psychiatry

Publication Date

03/2010

Volume

32

Pages

218 - 220

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Female, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Mass Screening, Middle Aged, Neoplasms, Predictive Value of Tests, Suicide, Attempted, Surveys and Questionnaires, Young Adult