The implementation of routine computer-based screening for suicidal ideation and other psychosocial domains through standardized patient reported outcome instruments in two high volume urban HIV clinics is described. Factors associated with an increased risk of self-reported suicidal ideation were determined.
HIV/AIDS continues to be associated with an under-recognized risk for suicidal ideation, attempted as well as completed suicide. Suicidal ideation represents an important predictor for subsequent attempted and completed suicide. We sought to implement routine screening of suicidal ideation and associated conditions using computerized patient reported outcome (PRO) assessments.
Two geographically distinct academic HIV primary care clinics enrolled patients attending scheduled visits from 12/2005 to 2/2009. Touch-screen-based, computerized PRO assessments were implemented into routine clinical care. Substance abuse (ASSIST), alcohol consumption (AUDIT-C), depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (PHQ-A) were assessed. The PHQ-9 assesses the frequency of suicidal ideation in the preceding two weeks. A response of “nearly every day” triggered an automated page to pre-determined clinic personnel who completed more detailed self-harm assessments.
Overall 1,216 (UAB= 740; UW= 476) patients completed initial PRO assessment during the study period. Patients were white (53%; n=646), predominantly males (79%; n=959) with a mean age of 44 (± 10). Among surveyed patients, 170 (14%) endorsed some level of suicidal ideation, while 33 (3%) admitted suicidal ideation nearly every day. In multivariable analysis, suicidal ideation risk was lower with advancing age (OR=0.74 per 10 years;95%CI=0.58-0.96) and was increased with current substance abuse (OR=1.88;95%CI=1.03-3.44) and more severe depression (OR=3.91 moderate;95%CI=2.12-7.22; OR=25.55 severe;95%CI=12.73-51.30).
Suicidal ideation was associated with current substance abuse and depression. The use of novel technologies to incorporate routine self-reported screening for suicidal ideation and other health domains allow for timely detection and intervention for this life threatening condition.