WEDNESDAY, Feb. 9, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The Computerized Adaptive Test Suicide Scale (CAT-SS) can enhance personalized screening and assessment of suicide risk severity among U.S. veterans, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in PLOS ONE.

Lisa A. Brenner, Ph.D., from the Rocky Mountain Regional Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, and colleagues validated CAT-SS among veterans who completed the measures at baseline (305), six months (249), and 12 months (185).

The researchers found that the CAT-SS measured suicide risk severity using an average of 10 items (median, 11 items) in under two minutes. Baseline CAT-SS showed predictive accuracy for all outcomes at six months, with similar results also seen for baseline through 12 months. For every 10-point change in the CAT-SS, there was a 50 to 77 percent increase in the likelihood of suicide-related outcomes longitudinally.

“To address the pressing public health problem of suicide, efforts must be aimed at validating measures that can be used to evaluate suicide risk in both primary and specialty care medical settings; can be rapidly administered via an electronic platform; and be personalized to individual patients,” a coauthor said in a statement. “The future of mental health measurement will be based on adaptive screening and measurement to provide more accurate diagnoses and severity measurements that benefit patients, their providers, and the overall health care system.”

One author is a founder of Adaptive Testing Technologies, which distributes the CAT-MH™ battery of adaptive tests, including the CAT-SS.

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