Assessing suicidal risk in practice: A validation study initiated by medical social workers

Wallace Chi Ho Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Medical social workers may often assess the suicide risk of patients. In addition to their professional assessment via clinical interviews, a valid scale may help provide a quick assessment of the risk of suicide. In Hong Kong, medical social workers wanted to initiate practice-based research with a social work scholar in the university. This research aimed to validate the Hong Kong Chinese version of the Scale for Suicide Ideation (HKC-SSI) and explore its factor structure among patients. Patients who revealed suicidal thoughts to medical social workers or were referred by other healthcare professionals for assessing suicidal risks were invited to join this study. They were asked to complete a set of questionnaires which included the HKC-SSI and other scales validating it. The reliability, validity and factor structure of the HKC-SSI were examined. A total of 157 patients completed the questionnaires. The HKC-SSI showed good reliability and demonstrated construct validity by indicating significant correlations with other scales that measure depression, anxiety, presence of meaning and search for meaning in the expected directions. A two-factor structure, ‘motivation’ and ‘preparation’, was found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2332-2345
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number8
Early online date29 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

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