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Improving Clinical Evaluations of Suicide Risk and their Relationship to Care Planning

2012 Standard Research Grant
Amount Awarded: $72,818
Focus Area: Psychosocial Studies

Christopher Buckingham, Ph.D.

Christopher Buckingham, Ph.D.
Aston University, UK

Inside the Research

Bio: Dr. Buckingham received his doctorate at the University of Birmingham, UK, in 1992. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Aston University, UK.

Research Categories: Clinical judgment, pattern recognition, and assessment of suicide risk.

Abstract: Mental health clinicians are often in the position of having to assess risk for suicidal behavior, yet we know little about how they make these judgments. By better understanding the factors that go into the clinical risk assessments, as well as the accuracy of these assessments, we can improve clinical education, assessment, and care management. Dr. Buckingham will use a unique database from the United Kingdom called the Galatean Risk and Safety Tool (GriST, to statistically examine the clinical judgments related to 30,000 detailed risk profiles that include clinical and general information. He will analyze the assessments in relation to information regarding later Serious Untoward Incidents (SUI) that involve suicide and suicidal behavior and will compare assessments of people with SUI with people who did not carry out any suicidal behavior. This is a unique opportunity to learn about how we can better assess suicide risk.

Impact: To help clinicians collect key risk data for different patient demographic groups, produce more accurate risk evaluations, and implement the most effective interventions to prevent suicides.