Influences on Call Outcomes among Veteran Callers to the National Veterans Crisis Line

Authors

  • Peter C. Britton PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA
    • VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical Center, Canandaigua, NY, USA
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  • Robert M. Bossarte PhD,

    1. VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical Center, Canandaigua, NY, USA
    2. Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA
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  • Caitlin Thompson PhD,

    1. Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA
    2. National Veterans Crisis Line, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical Center, Canandaigua, NY, USA
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  • Janet Kemp RN, PhD,

    1. VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical Center, Canandaigua, NY, USA
    2. National Veterans Crisis Line, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical Center, Canandaigua, NY, USA
    3. Office of Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, Central Office, Washington, DC, USA
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  • Kenneth R. Conner PsyD, MPH

    1. VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical Center, Canandaigua, NY, USA
    2. Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA
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  • Funding for this article was provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Quality Enhancement Initiative (QUERI), a career development award (K2CX000641) from the VA Office of Research and Development, Clinical Science Research and Development (CSR&D), and the VISN 2 Center of Excellence (CoE) for Suicide Prevention at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center.

Address correspondence to Peter C. Britton, PhD, VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical Center, 400 Fort Hill Ave., Canandaigua, NY 14424; E-mail: peter.britton@va.gov

Abstract

The association of caller and call characteristics with proximal outcomes of Veterans Crisis Line calls were examined. From October 1–7, 2010, 665 veterans with recent suicidal ideation or a history of attempted suicide called the Veterans Crisis Line; 646 had complete data and were included in the analyses. A multivariable multinomial logistic regression was conducted to identify correlates of a favorable outcome (a resolution or a referral) when compared to an unfavorable outcome (no resolution or referral). A multivariable logistic regression was used to identify correlates of responder-rated caller risk in a subset of calls. Approximately 84% of calls ended with a favorable outcome, 25% with a resolution, and 59% with a referral to a local health care provider. Calls from high-risk callers had greater odds of ending with a referral than without a resolution or referral, as did weekday calls (6:00 am to 5:59 pm EST, Monday through Friday). Responders used caller intent to die and the absence of future plans to determine caller risk. Findings suggest that the Veterans Crisis Line is a useful mechanism for generating referrals for high-risk veteran callers. Responders appeared to use known risk and protective factors to determine caller risk.

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