Your browser doesn't support JavaScript. Please upgrade to a modern browser or enable JavaScript in your existing browser.
Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Screening for Suicide Risk

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Release Date: May 2004

Summary of Recommendation / Supporting Documents

Summary of Recommendation

  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concludes that the evidence is insufficient to recommend for or against routine screening by primary care clinicians to detect suicide risk in the general population.

    Rating: "I" statement.

    Rationale: The USPSTF found no evidence that screening for suicide risk reduces suicide attempts or mortality. There is limited evidence on the accuracy of screening tools to identify suicide risk in the primary care setting, including tools to identify those at high risk (go to Clinical Considerations). The USPSTF found insufficient evidence that treatment of those at high risk reduces suicide attempts or mortality. The USPSTF found no studies that directly address the harms of screening and treatment for suicide risk. As a result, the USPSTF could not determine the balance of benefits and harms of screening for suicide risk in the primary care setting.

Top of Page

Supporting Documents

Screening for Suicide Risk, May 2004
Recommendation and Rationale (PDF File, 70 KB; PDF Help)
Summary of the Evidence (PDF File, 933 KB; PDF Help)
Systematic Evidence Review (PDF File Download)

Top of Page

Current as of May 2004

Internet Citation:

Screening for Suicide Risk, Topic Page. May 2004. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care