Clinician experiences of suicide risk assessment in the real world setting

Jacinta Hawgood
Griffith University
07 3735 3394

Sarah Spafford
Griffith University
+1 760 716 3208

Julianne Edwards, PhD
Azusa Pacific University

Thank you for your interest in sharing your experience of undertaking suicide risk assessment behaviours, attitudes and fears in your work with suicidal persons. This important research is a part of Sarah Spafford’s Master of Suicidology post graduate study.


It is very important to us that we hear the ‘voice’ of clinicians and other professionals and workers in suicide prevention, to understand how you assess suicidality as well as what is needed to encourage more ‘person centred’ approaches to suicide risk assessment processes in applied ‘real world’ settings.


You will be asked to complete an online survey that aims to enquire about your experience of assessing a person’s suicidality, your attitudes and fears, as well as your motivation to intervene with someone who is potentially suicidal and measure the level of vicarious trauma you may have experience in your role as a clinician (GU ethics ref no: 2018/417). The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

The first section of this survey (part A) seeks data on demographic details including basic information about your work role in suicide prevention and previous training in suicide risk assessment (total of 13 items).
The second section of this survey (part B) asks about your experience in working with suicidal clients, any losses of a client to suicide or experiences of suicide attempt of a client, and your current behaviours in undertaking a suicide risk assessment (total of 19 items).

The third section of the survey (part C) asks about your attitudes to suicide and suicide prevention and your motivation or intention to intervene with those who are suicidal. This section also asks a final open-ended question about what you find most rewarding to work in the suicide prevention space (total of 22 items).

The final section (part D) explores vicarious trauma as it asks about your exposure to clients who have experienced trauma and the impact that has on you as a clinician (total of 8 items).

Before beginning this survey, you will need to provide your consent to participation in it (see below). Please know that we value your feedback in this important domain. Your feedback and the survey results will be used to inform education and training to support clinicians working with suicidal persons.

For complete information on this research, please see the research information sheet at:

Consent to Participate
By clicking next below, I confirm that I have read and understood the information package and in particular:

•I understand that my involvement in this research will include the completion of a brief online survey regarding how clinician suicide risk assessment behaviours, attitudes toward suicide and suicide prevention, motivations to intervene, and vicarious trauma;
•I understand that for the most sensitive questions, I will be asked to indicate whether I have experience a client loss to suicide, and/or a client suicide attempt in my primary care capacity as a suicide prevention worker.
•There are no foreseeable significant risks resulting from participation in this study. However, should I experience grief and or distress in revealing information related to my practice experience and/or past client suicidality I know that I can contact the help services lists in this survey OR I may contact the chief investigator for support (also listed at the beginning and end of this survey).
•I also understand that I have a choice not to reveal information that I may find distressing and that if I do choose to do so, this information cannot be personally identified
•I have had any questions answered to my satisfaction;
•I understand the risks involved;
•I understand that there will be no direct benefit to me from my participation in this research;
•I understand that my participation in this research is voluntary;
•I understand that if I have any additional questions I can contact the research team;
•I understand that I am free to withdraw at any time, without explanation or penalty, and withdrawal will not have any impact in relation to any future contact I may have with AISRAP, including education, training or other relevant issues;
•I understand that members of the research team are not involved in treating or assessing me clinically;
•I understand that my name and other personal information that could identify me will be removed or de-identified in publications or presentations resulting from this research;
• understand that I can contact the Manager, Research Ethics, at Griffith University Human Research Ethics Committee on 3735 4375 (or if I have any concerns about the ethical conduct of the project; and
•I agree to participate in the project.

**I agree to participate in the project. Completion of this survey will indicate your consent to participate in this project.**

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