Moving beyond self-report: Implicit associations about death/life prospectively predict suicidal behavior among veterans


Sean M Barnes, Nazanin H Bahraini, Jeri E Forster, Kelly A Stearns-Yoder, Trisha A Hostetter, Geoffrey Smith, Herbert T Nagamoto, Matthew K Nock.


Reliance on self-report limits clinicians' ability to accurately predict suicidal behavior. In this study the predictive validity of an objective measure, the death/suicide Implicit Association Test (d/sIAT), was tested among psychiatrically hospitalized veterans. Following acute stabilization, 176 participants completed the d/sIAT and traditional suicide risk assessments. Participants had similar d/sIAT scores regardless of whether they had recently attempted suicide. However, d/sIAT scores significantly predicted suicide attempts during the 6-month follow-up above and beyond other known risk factors for suicidal behavior (OR = 1.89; 95% CI: 1.15–3.12; based on 1SD increase). The d/sIAT may augment the accuracy of suicide risk assessment. ÉTAT-CIVIL MILITAIRE RETRAITE PATIENT-PSYCHIATRIQUE POTENTIEL-SUICIDAIRE SUIVI

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