Suicide risk management: Development and analysis of a telephone-based approach to patient safety

Duncan G. Campbell, Laura M. Bonner, Cory R. Bolkan, Edmund F. Chaney, Bradford L. Felker, Scott E. Sherman, Lisa V. Rubenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Research-based queries about patients' experiences often uncover suicidal thoughts. Human subjects review requires suicide risk management (SRM) protocols to protect patients, yet minimal information exists to guide researchers' protocol development and implementation efforts. The purpose of this study was to examine the development and implementation of an SRM protocol employed during telephone-based screening and data collection interviews of depressed primary care patients. We describe an SRM protocol development process and employ qualitative analysis of de-identified documentation to characterize protocol-driven interactions between research clinicians and patients. Protocol development required advance planning, training, and team building. Three percent of screened patients evidenced suicidal ideation; 12% of these met protocol standards for study clinician assessment/intervention. Risk reduction activities required teamwork and extensive collaboration. Research-based SRM protocols can facilitate patient safety by (1) identifying and verifying local clinical site approaches and resources and (2) integrating these features into prevention protocols and training for research teams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-383
Number of pages12
JournalTranslational Behavioral Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Collaborative care
  • Depression
  • Patient safety
  • Primary care
  • Research participants
  • Suicide


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