Modified SAD PERSONS Scale
Assess depression with the modified SAD PERSONS Scale
Many suicide risk assessment scores exist, though the Modified SAD PERSONS scale is probably the best known and most widely used in the Emergency setting. No Scale is 100% predictive of suicidal behavior and thus it is always best to err on the side of caution by consulting with your local psychiatry service if unsure. A small study by Cochrane-Brink et al in 2000 compared several of the suicide risk assessment scores and found that the Modified SAD PERSONS Scale had a Sensitivity of 100% for predicting hospital admission and 60% Specificity. Previous Emergency based studies have placed the Sensitivity at 94% and Specificity of 71%. All suicidal patients should be screened for the presence of firearms in the home and any threats to others including ex-spouses and children.
Hockberger et al.
Cochrane-Brink et al.