Improving the prospective prediction of a near-term suicide attempt in veterans at risk for suicide, using a go/no-go task

Catherine E. Myers Open the ORCID record for Catherine E. Myers[Opens in a new window] , Chintan V. Dave , Michael Callahan , Megan S. Chesin , John G. Keilp , Kevin D. Beck , Lisa A. Brenner , Marianne S. Goodman , Erin A. Hazlett , Alexander B. Niculescu , Lauren St. Hill , Anna Kline , Barbara H. Stanley and Alejandro Interian

Published Year: 07/28/2022

Background: Neurocognitive testing may advance the goal of predicting near-term suicide risk. The current study examined whether performance on a Go/No-go (GNG) task, and computational modeling to extract latent cognitive variables, could enhance prediction of suicide attempts within next 90 days, among individuals at high-risk for suicide.

Method: 136 Veterans at high-risk for suicide previously completed a computer-based GNG task requiring rapid responding (Go) to target stimuli, while withholding responses (No-go) to infrequent foil stimuli; behavioral variables included false alarms to foils (failure to inhibit) and missed responses to targets. We conducted a secondary analysis of these data, with outcomes defined as actual suicide attempt (ASA), other suicide-related event (OtherSE) such as interrupted/aborted attempt or preparatory behavior, or neither (noSE), within 90-days after GNG testing, to examine whether GNG variables could improve ASA prediction over standard clinical variables. A computational model (linear ballistic accumulator, LBA) was also applied, to elucidate cognitive mechanisms underlying group differences.