Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Dr. Alan Hovestadt
Dr. Robert Betz
Dr. Robert Brashear
This quasi-experimental study used a Randomized Groups, Posttest-only Design, to determine if significant differences between three groups existed in their: (a) ability to accurately assess high- and low-risk clients, (b) ability to accurately assign clinical actions, and (c) self-reported confidence to accurately assess suicide risk and assign clinical actions. The 59 volunteer subjects who participated in the study were master’s level counselors-in-training enrolled in a counseling prepractica training course within a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited counselor education and counseling psychology department of a large Midwestern university. Two of the three groups were experimental (i.e., the SAD PERSONS Suicide Assessment Scale [Patterson, Dohn, Bird, & Patterson, 1983] Live Lecture Group [SAD-Live Group] and the SAD PERSONS Suicide Assessment Scale Videotape Instruction Group [SAD-Video Group]). These groups were exposed to a suicide assessment aid designed to assess suicide risk and assign clinical interventions.
The SAD-Live Group and SAD-Video Group components were identical in content but different in format. The SAD-Video Group received only videotaped instruction and later observed the presenter assessing the presence of risk factors and assigning clinical actions based upon two videotaped vignettes. The SAD-Live Group received live lecture and later participated with the lecturer in assessing the presence of 10 risk factors and assigning clinical actions based upon two videotaped vignettes. The third group (i.e., the Transference- Countertransference Control Group [Control Group]) received a videotaped lecture regarding transference and countertransferencc within the therapeutic relationship.
The findings from this study indicated that: (a) counselors-in-training who received SAD-Video Group instruetion made suicide assessments which corresponded more closely to three expert psychiatrists’ assessments, (b) counselors-intraining who received SAD-Video Group instruction assigned clinical actions which corresponded more closely to three expert psychiatrists’ recommendations, and (c) counselors-in-training who demonstrated superior client risk assessment and clinical recommendation abilities felt no more confident or qualified than their counterparts who did not perform as well. It was concluded from these results that SAD-Video Group instruction was more effective than either SADLive Group training or Control Group training in helping master’s level prepractica counselors-in-training more accurately assess suicide risk and more accurately assign clinical recommendations.
Juhnke, Gerald A., "An Evaluation of a Method of Suicide Assessment Training" (1991). Dissertations. 2003.