The Electronic C-SSRS

The electronic Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (eC-SSRS) is a computer-automated, patient-reported version of the C-SSRS, in which the user’s response to a question prompts and shows the appropriate follow-up questions (if any). With the eC-SSRS, use of the scale is not limited to patients or subjects having to sit with a person who asks them the questions; instead, they can complete the assessment on their own — not only in a clinician’s office, but also from their homes.

The e-CSSRS is:

  • Designed in line with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for researchers conducting clinical trials to reliably and consistently assess suicidal ideation and behavior.
  • Available in tablet and web versions, as well as interactive voice response (IVR) for use over the phone.
  • Provided in more than 75 languages.


The primary users of the eC-SSRS are clinical researchers, but the staffs of some schools and universities use it for screening as well.


Enabling people to answer the scale’s questions on their own, followed by a clinician review of the findings, provides numerous benefits. Use of the eC-SSRS:

  • Allows patients to complete the assessment wherever they choose or in the clinician’s office.
  • Provides a new means for monitoring, including for students on summer break.
  • Delivers clean, actionable data to clinicians for patient care.
  • Eliminates errors caused by inaccurate scoring, illegibility, and transcription.
  • Enables data aggregation for large-scale assessments of suicidal ideation and behaviors.
  • Encourages patient self-disclosure.
  • Facilitates clinical follow-up.
  • Helps ensure the complete and consistent application of the scale.
  • Minimizes staff training and workload.
  • Reduces clinician bias.
  • Streamlines the compilation of patient medical records.


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The eC-SSRS, available in more than 75 country-specific languages, has been used for about 200,000 assessments on 45,000 patients and is cited in FDA draft guidance as an acceptable means of collecting suicidal ideation and behavior data in clinical trials. Its validity also is supported by studies, including the following:

Mundt, J.C., Greist, J.H., Gelenberg, A.J., Katzelnick, D.J., Jefferson, J.W. & Model, J.G. (2010). Feasibility and validation of a computer-automated Columbia-Suicide severity rating scale using interactive voice response technology. Journal of Psychiatric Research, doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.04.025.

Mundt, J. C., Greist, J. H., Jefferson, J. W., Federico, M., Mann, J. J., & Posner, K. (2013). Prediction of Suicidal Behavior in Clinical Research by Lifetime Suicidal Ideation and Behavior Ascertained by the Electronic Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 74(9), 887-893.