Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Andrea Bostrom

Second Advisor

Evelyn Clingerman

Third Advisor

Steven Lipnicki

Fourth Advisor

Harlan Holman


Suicide among veterans is a growing concern. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that a veteran dies by suicide once every 60-80 minutes with 18 to 22 veterans killing themselves every day. Many veterans receive healthcare in the community (outside of the VA), but are typically not identified in these settings. Veteran-centric policies are typically absent in settings outside of the VA. Screening for suicide risk at the primary care level has been largely ineffective with some patients dying from suicide within a week of a negative screen. The Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire (INQ), which measures thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness, has empirical evidence as an effective tool for detecting suicide risk in multiple populations. The purpose of this project was to explore (a) the need to screen veterans for suicide risk in a non-VA setting, and (b) the acceptability of the INQ as a suicide risk screening tool among non-VA primary care providers. The need to screen veterans was assessed by counting the number of veterans presenting to a non-VA primary care clinic. During a 30 day period, 517 patients presented to the clinic with 19 (3.7%) of these self-identifying as a veteran. The acceptability of the INQ was assessed by providing an online educational media presentation on the concepts of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (IPTS) and the INQ along with a pre and posttest assessment. A total of 23 non-VA primary care providers completed the online education and pre/posttest assessment. The providers demonstrated a higher understanding of how the concepts of the IPTS related to suicide risk after the education. In addition, the participants expressed confidence in the INQ as a suicide risk screening tool and a high likelihood of making a mental health referral based on a positive score.

Included in

Nursing Commons