A Leader Suicide Risk Assessment Tool for Mitigating Risk Factors

Research Paper Title

Development of a Leader Tool for Assessing and Mitigating Suicide Risk Factors.

Background

Despite efforts in prevention, suicide rates in the US military remain unchanged. This article describes the development of a tool for leaders to identify and mitigate suicide risk factors.

Methods

A seven-item measure, the Leader Suicide Risk Assessment Tool (LSRAT), was constructed to allow leaders to assess and mitigate suicide drivers. During a 6-month pilot, unit leaders completed the LSRAT for 161 at-risk soldiers. The LSRAT data were compared to clinical data from a subset of these soldiers.

Results

The LSRAT showed good test-retest reliability. The LSRAT scores showed significant correlations with both clinical and screening measures of suicidality. Command actions mitigated or partially mitigated 89% of risk factors identified on the LSRAT.

Conclusions

This study provides initial psychometric data on a tool that prescribes concrete responses to mitigate risk. The LSRAT may be a valid and feasible tool to assist front-line commanders in identifying potential area’s risk mitigation. Synchronisation efforts between commanders, clinicians, and support services are crucial to ensure effective intervention to prevent suicide behaviour.

Reference

Hoyt, T., Repke, D., Barry, D., Baisley, M., Jervis, S., Black, R., McCreight, S., Prendergast, D., Brinton, C. & Amin, R. (2020) Development of a Leader Tool for Assessing and Mitigating Suicide Risk Factors. Military Medicine. 185(Suppl 1), pp.334-341. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usz194.

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