Examine: Face-to-face screening mixed with machine studying mannequin performs greatest at suicide threat prediction

A mixed strategy utilizing each face-to-face screenings and a machine studying mannequin embedded in an EHR carried out greatest at predicting suicide threat amongst adults, in keeping with a study published in JAMA Network Open

The research included greater than 120,000 encounters in inpatient, ambulatory surgical and emergency division settings from greater than 83,000 sufferers. It discovered the hybrid strategy that used each in-person screenings with the Columbia Suicide Severity Ranking Scale (C-SSRS) and the Vanderbilt Suicide Try and Ideation Probability (VSAIL) machine studying mannequin outperformed both possibility alone when it got here to predicting suicide makes an attempt and suicidal ideation. 

“These findings counsel that healthcare techniques ought to try to leverage the unbiased, complementary strengths of conventional clinician evaluation and automatic machine studying to enhance suicide threat detection,” the research’s authors wrote. 


Researchers famous the hybrid strategy might have labored higher to foretell suicide threat as a result of it mixed two fashions with complementary strengths and weaknesses. 

For example, the VSAIL mannequin carried out higher at decrease suicide threat thresholds, whereas the C-SSRS face-to-face screening labored higher at increased threat thresholds. The sensitivity of the in-person survey additionally decreased over time, whereas the VSAIL mannequin elevated. The hybrid strategy confirmed constant efficiency over time. 

In the meantime, the C-SSRS screening could possibly be restricted by sufferers denying suicidal ideation even when it is current, whereas the VSAIL machine studying mannequin may develop into much less efficient if a affected person didn’t have intensive medical information accessible.

“Our outcomes counsel that EHR-based fashions ought to incorporate accessible in-person screening information to enhance sensitivity and PPV [positive predictive value] (particularly at increased threat thresholds),” the researchers wrote. 

“For almost all of healthcare techniques implementing face-to-face screening alone, incorporating EHR-based fashions can enhance sensitivity at decrease threat thresholds, present steady output for extra particular choice cutoffs and determine instances usually ignored by clinician evaluation (e.g., cases of affected person nondisclosure).”


Synthetic intelligence and machine studying have gotten ubiquitous in healthcare and life sciences, however there are issues about introducing bias, the importance of thorough preclinical testing to seek out security issues and potential legal risks

Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated mental health concerns worldwide, and plenty of states within the U.S. face a shortage of providers

The JAMA Community Open research’s authors famous that whereas it takes time to construct and validate a machine studying mannequin, in-person screenings additionally take time, coaching and psychological well being practitioner assets. 

“The advance (particularly in PPV) from combining in-person screening and historic EHR information was clinically vital, though the prices and advantages of our ensemble strategy will fluctuate enormously between healthcare websites,” they wrote. “Additional analysis is required to check alternate methods of mixing medical and statistical threat prediction and to research the sensible implications of implementing them in medical techniques.”


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