pediatric suicidality screening

By Elizabeth Straus posted 12-31-2019 07:51 AM

Hi friends!

Checking in to see if anyone has information about routine screening of pediatric inpatient populations.  We are having a debate on my unit about the value of regularly asking direct questions (eg: Since you woke up this morning, have you had thoughts of suicide?  Impulses to self-harm? Etc).  We serve patients as young as 5 through 18 years across 4 age-segregated units.  Some Nurses think that repeatedly asking young children questions like those in the Columbia screen can plant ideas and result in children reporting ideation for attention or because they think we want to hear positive responses.  Other Nurses think that, given the patients’ need for acute stabilization, risk of potential suicidal behavior outweighs risk of harm from questioning.  I know I would be very upset if someone repeatedly asked my own children such questions, yet I am repeatedly asking these questions of the children I serve professionally.  Does anyone have an opinion, research, or resource that may help us determine how to do good and not do harm?

1 comment



27 days ago

Hi Elizabeth,
I just posted similar question to yours. I am also wondering if what is the best evidence-based pediatric suicide risk screening tool to use. Our upper leadership is telling us to use ASQ tool. I wanted to make comparisons with other tools.