The PHQ2 features 2 primary screening questions related to depression. A “no” answer to both questions would end the screening. However, these 2 questions are not sufficient for suicide risk assessment; they are simply the primary questions for the suicide risk screening. It is important to distinguish between a screening and an assessment. A “yes” answer to either question on the PHQ2 would point to the PHQ9 depression screening questions.

The PHQ tools are validated for depression. Suicidality is 1 of the signs of depression. PHQ9 is used to screen for suicidal ideation. Currently, no tools can predict suicide; tools can only detect the risk for suicide. Therefore, early detection of the risk for suicide and prompt intervention are key to reducing incidents of suicide.

Question 9 on the PHQ9 is specific for suicide ideation. Any answer other than “not at all” requires initiation of suicide risk precautions (providing immediate...

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