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INTRODUCTION: There is concern regarding suicidal behaviour risk during selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment among the young. A clinically useful model for predicting suicidal behaviour risk should have high predictive performance in terms of discrimination and calibration; transparency and ease of implementation are desirable. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Using Swedish national registers, we will identify individuals initiating an SSRI aged 8-24 years 2007-2020. We will develop: (A) a model based on a broad set of predictors, and (B) a model based on a restricted set of predictors. For the broad predictor model, we will consider an ensemble of four base models: XGBoost (XG), neural net (NN), elastic net logistic regression (EN) and support vector machine (SVM). The predictors with the greatest contribution to predictive performance in the base models will be determined. For the restricted predictor model, clinical input will be used to select predictors based on the top predictors in the broad model, and inputted in each of the XG, NN, EN and SVM models. If any show superiority in predictive performance as defined by the area under the receiver-operator curve, this model will be selected as the final model; otherwise, the EN model will be selected. The training and testing samples will consist of data from 2007 to 2017 and from 2018 to 2020, respectively. We will additionally assess the final model performance in individuals receiving a depression diagnosis within 90 days before SSRI initiation.The aims are to (A) develop a model predicting suicidal behaviour risk after SSRI initiation among children and youths, using machine learning methods, and (B) develop a model with a restricted set of predictors, favouring transparency and scalability. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The research is approved by the Swedish Ethical Review Authority (2020-06540). We will disseminate findings by publishing in peer-reviewed open-access journals, and presenting at international conferences.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





Child & adolescent psychiatry, MENTAL HEALTH, REGISTRIES, Risk Factors, Suicide & self-harm, Humans, Adolescent, Child, Young Adult, Models, Statistical, Prognosis, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, Suicidal Ideation, Calibration