Dr. Katherine J. Aitchison, Garima Aryal, Dr. Andrius Baskys, Dr. Bradley Green, Dr. Rohit J. Lodhi, Leslie Roper, Keanna Wallace, Esther Yang
Introduction: Suicide remains an ongoing concern both in Canada and worldwide. In 2016, the suicide rate was 11.0 per 100,000 people in Canada (1). The development of validated procedures for suicide risk assessment has been identified as a priority in suicide research (2). Nonetheless, the accurate assessment of suicide risk remains challenging. A recent meta-analysis of scales for suicide risk assessment found the pooled positive predictive value (PPV) of psychological scales for self-harm plus suicide was only 38.9% (3).
Methods: The SIBAT (Suicide Ideation and Behavior Assessment Tool) is a newly developed instrument that has been shown to demonstrate sensitivity to change (4). In order to examine the validity of the SIBAT, 215 participants in the AddGenes study at the University of Alberta completed both the SIBAT and the suicidality component of the MINI (Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview). Data obtained was used to evaluate the internal consistency of the SIBAT and compare the results obtained by the two measures.
Results: SIBAT modules 2 and 3 (n = 73 items total) had high internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = .964) and the total score of these modules had a moderate positive correlation with the MINI assessment of suicidality risk in the preceding month (r = 0.475, p < 0.001) and a strong positive correlation with suicidality in the preceding week determined by SIBAT module 5 (r = 0.640, p < 0.001). SIBAT items and matched MINI items evaluating desire to die (χ2 = 16.4, df=1, p < 0.001), suicidal thoughts (χ2 = 29.8, df=1, p < 0.001), and suicide method (χ2 = 28.7, df=1, p < 0.001) were significantly related.
Conclusion: The SIBAT demonstrates high internal consistency and convergent validity. The total score of modules 2 and 3 appear to be more strongly correlated with suicidality in the preceding week than with suicidality in the preceding month, suggesting it may be useful as a tool to monitor changes in suicidality over time.