UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Geriatrics

Title: Suicidal Risk in Older Adults

Keywords: elderly, psychiatry, mental health, screening (PubMed Search)

Posted: 11/5/2017 by Danya Khoujah, MBBS
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A potential area of care improvement was identified in this recent study; how we address a positive suicide screening test in older adults. Although completed suicide is higher in this age group, older patients are less likely than their younger counterparts to receive mental health evaluation prior to ED discharge for suicidal ideation within the past 2 weeks or a suicidal attempt within the past 6 months, especially if their chief complaint was not of a psychiatric nature.


Arias, S. A., Boudreaux, E. D., Segal, D. L., Miller, I., Camargo, C. A. and Betz, M. E. (2017), Disparities in Treatment of Older Adults with Suicide Risk in the Emergency Department. J Am Geriatr Soc, 65: 2272–2277. doi:10.1111/jgs.15011