By Aaron T Beck, Robert A Steer
Purpose: Assess an individual's thoughts, attitudes and intentions regarding suicide
Age: 17 years and older
Admin: Individual - 5 to 10 minutes
Qualification Level: B
The Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation® (BSS™) is a valuable tool for clinicians to examine suicidal intent in patients. Developed for use with patients of 17 years and over, the BSS™ provides a good starting point for a clinician's more detailed examination of a patient's suicidal intent.
The BSS™ is also useful for monitoring suicide ideation of patients who are known to be at risk for suicide.
The manual provides data on both in-patients and outpatients. The BSS™ items correlate highly with items that relate to suicide on the other Beck Scales:
- Internal Screening Component saves time. The Scale is made up of 21 items and can be completed in 5 to 10 minutes. Two of the questions on the Scale are designed to function as an internal screening component. This component saves time and reduces the intrusiveness of the questionnaire for patients who are non-suicidal.
- Useful in Therapy and Training. The BSS™ has been used extensively at the Centre for Cognitive Therapy for the past 15 years. It can be effective as a tool for clinicians to examine suicidal intent and as a teaching guide.
Average reliability coefficient: .90 (Inpatient), .87 (Outpatient)
Test-retest reliability: .54