Research News

Research News Image

Study Examines Limitations of Routine Firearm Access Screening for Individuals with Depression

May 04 2021
Providers often ask about access to firearms during mental health and suicide risk screenings, but new research shows that individuals with depressive symptoms experience a variety of concerns about disclosing this information. Researchers interviewed 37 primary care patients in a Washington state health system about their experience responding to the question, “Do you have access to guns?” Overall, participants voiced concerns about privacy, autonomy, and relevance. Alternative questioning techniques — such as those focusing on a broader scope of lethal means or a person’s intentions with a firearm — may encourage individuals to answer accurately, resulting in improved clinical information. To learn more, see the study in Psychiatric Services.