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Salud mental

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3325


RAMOS-MARTIN, Javier et al. Validity of the classification of emergency service requests related to suicidal behavior. Salud Ment [online]. 2022, vol.45, n.2, pp.53-59.  Epub 23-Mayo-2022. ISSN 0185-3325.


Suicide attempts are the most predictive risk factor for suicide deaths. Most people who attempt suicide receive care from out-of-hospital Emergency Services (OES), where these requests are managed and classified.


Validate the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) classification for the detection of suicidal behavior requests.


A descriptive, cross-sectional study of requests to the ECC of Málaga (Spain) during 2013 and 2014 was conducted. To classify the requests, the authors considered the ECC categorization when answering the call and the clinical assessment of the healthcare professional when attending the person who had made the call at the scene, which was considered the reference standard. To analyze the validity of the ECC classification system, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV) were calculated.


The total number of requests for medical assistance analyzed was 112,599. The validity indicators of the classification system for suicidal behavior were sensitivity = 44.78%, specificity = 99.34%, PPV = 46.91% and NPV = 99.28%.

Discussion and conclusion

The ECC classification system has a lower capacity to detect the presence of suicidal behavior and a higher capacity to identify its absence in the requests received. OES provide key information on suicidal behavior requests as they can be one of the first places people with this problem go to. It would therefore be extremely useful to improve the classification systems for requests related to suicidal behavior.

Palabras llave : Out-of-hospital Emergency Services; suicide; classification; validity.

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