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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 337-343

Scale for assessment of lethality of suicide attempt


1 Department of Psychiatry, Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
2 Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, JSS Medical College, Mysore; Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India
3 All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
4 SBKS Medical Institute and Research Centre, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Nilamadhab Kar
Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Steps to Health, Showell Circus, Low Hill, Wolverhampton, WV10 9TH
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.146512

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Background: Lethality of suicidal attempt provides useful information regarding the behavior. There is a perceived need for a clinically useful scale that can be easily adapted to various methods and circumstances of attempt. Aims: The study intended to develop and test utility of a scale for measuring lethality that can reflect overall clinical observation taking into account various indicators of lethality and which can be used across clinical scenarios involving different methods. Settings and Design: Cross-sectional study in a hospital. Materials and Methods: The scale for assessment of lethality of suicide attempt (SALSA) has two components: The first component has four items indicating seriousness of the attempt and its likely consequences and the second component is the global impression of lethality. All the items are scored from 1 to 5, higher scores suggestive of increased lethality. SALSA was used to evaluate lethality of 82 consecutive suicide attempters; and it was compared with lethality of suicide attempt rating scale (LSARS) and risk-rescue rating scale. Statistical Analysis: Chi-square, t-test, analysis of variance, Cronbach's alpha, binary logistic regression. Result: There was significant correlation of SALSA score with that of LSARS (r: 0.89) and risk score of risk-rescue rating (r: 0.93, P < 0.001); and negative correlation with rescue score (r: −0.569; P < 0.001). Internal consistency reliability of SALSA was high (Cronbach's alpha: 0.94). Lethality scores of SALSA differentiated known groups with different lethality, e.g. deceased and survived; attempters with different levels of medical intervention: In-patient only, intensive care, ventilator support. SALSA score significantly predicted the lethal outcome (odds ratio: 3.2, confidence interval: 1.12-8.98). Conclusion: SALSA is a useful instrument for assessment of lethality of suicidal behaviors during clinical evaluations considering the ease of administration, its ability to differentiate clinical groups with known variations of lethality and clinical outcomes.



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