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The Suicide Risk Assessment and Management Manual (S-RAMM) Validation Study 1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 June 2014

Atif Ijaz
Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, Dublin 14, Ireland
Alexia Papaconstantinou
Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, Dublin 14, Ireland
Helen O'Neill
Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum. Dublin 14, Ireland
Harry G Kennedy*
Clinical Professor of Forensic Psychiatry (University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland) and Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, Dublin 14, Ireland
*Correspondence E-mail:



There are validated tools for structured professional judgement of risk of violence, but few for risk of suicide. The Suicide Risk Assessment and Management Manual (S-RAMM) is a new structured professional judgement tool closely modelled on the HCR-20. This is the first validation study for the S-RAMM. We measured inter-rater reliability, internal consistency, concurrent validity with another validated risk instrument (HCR-20) and with a measure of psychopathology (PANSS). We tested whether the tool could distinguish between groups of patients clinically assessed as at varying levels of risk of suicide or self harm.


Two researchers jointly interviewed 25 current in-patients for inter-rater reliability (Cohen's kappa) and internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) and interviewed 81 of 83 current in-patients to assess whether the mean scores for different wards were significantly different (using ANOVA). Two other researchers made independent ratings of the HCR-20 and PANSS.


Inter-rater reliability was acceptable for all items (Cohen's kappa >0.5 for all but three items) and all sub-scale and total scores (Spearman correlations all >0.8). Internal consistency was high, (Cronbach's alpha all sub-scales >0.6). Scores stratified significantly with high scores for admission and intensive care units and progressively lower scores in rehabilitation and predischarge units. The HCR-20 historical and S-RAMM background scores did not correlate but the dynamic sub-scales correlated significantly. PANSS scores also correlated significantly with S-RAMM scores.


The S-RAMM has better than minimum acceptable characteristics for use as a clinical or research tool. Prospective studies of sensitivity and specificity are now required.

Original Papers
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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