Clinical Decision Making Regarding Suicide Risk: Effect of Patient and Clinician Age image

Death Studies, December 17, 2015 (ePub ahead of print)
I. Glenn Cohen (Facutly Director), et al.


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To ascertain how patient age influences suicide risk assessment, clinicians (N = 262) read an ambiguous vignette about Bill (aged either 39- or 79-years-old), and subsequently rated Bill's suicide risk and hospitalization needs. Suicide risk ratings varied greatly and young clinicians rated Bill's suicide risk and hospitalization needs higher when he was elderly (79-year-old); whereas, older clinicians rated Bill'ssuicide risk and need for hospitalization higher when he was younger (39-year-old). The interaction between patient and clinician age may reflect a "similarity" bias, such that clinicians perceive those who are different (i.e., younger or older) to be at elevated risk.

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i. glenn cohen