Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dr. Deborah Lewis


Patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) often suffer from more than physical ailments when seeking care and treatment. Some of these patients have emotional ailments and suicidal ideation when they come to the local ED. The lack of recognition of at-risk patients by health care providers can lead to poor patient outcomes and death. The focus of this project was to understand which valid and reliable suicide assessment tools described in the literature were considered the best evidence-based instruments to identify ED patients who were at risk for suicide. Peplau's theory of interpersonal relations guided this project. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to assess tools that were used for the identification of at-risk patients. Analysis of the included literature was conducted using Melnyk's levels of evidence and a preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses tool to catalog the articles retrieved. Ten articles were included in the study. Final analysis of the articles identified the need for 100% of patients to be assessed for suicide risk upon arrival at the ED. The instrument identified to meet the need for the local organization was the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Screening tool. The findings of this project might promote social change by providing insights into best practice assessment tools to support improved assessment of suicide risk for ED patients.