Emergency Department Screen for Teens at Risk for Suicide (ED-STARS)

The ED-STARS study will develop and test a brief, personalized, computer-based suicide risk screening tool for teenagers. During the first study, over 6,000 youth were screened, and researchers followed up on a subsample of 12-17 year-olds who scored high on suicide risk factors – as well as those who scored low. Their experiences over a 6-month period were used to develop a computerized adaptive screen (CAS) for predicting suicide attempts that adjusts its line of questioning depending on responses to previous questions. The researchers will then compare the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of the CAS with the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ), a standardized ED youth suicide prevention screening tool. Study Two began the summer of 2017 and will validate the CAS and associated risk stratification algorithm, determining the measure’s ability to predict suicide attempts in a new sample of 4,000 youth. The potential benefit of including a behavioral test of suicidal thoughts, the Implicit Association Test (IAT), as part of the screening process will also be evaluated. This study is funded by the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH).