Prospective study of risk factors for increased suicide ideation and behavior following recent discharge
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OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to prospectively examine the association between predictors from the three thematic areas - suicidality, personal risk factors and patient care factors - and the occurrence of postdischarge suicide ideation and behavior in recently discharged patients. METHODS: The design is a prospective cohort study of all patients admitted to an inner city inpatient psychiatric service with a lifetime history of suicidal behavior and current suicidal ideation. Predictors of suicide ideation at 1, 3 and 6 months following discharge and suicide behavior over the 6 months of follow-up were examined. RESULTS: The incidence of death by suicide during the study period was 3.3% [95% confidence interval (CI)=0.9%-8.3%], and 39.4% (95% CI=30.0%-49.5%) of the surviving participants reported self-injury or suicide attempts within 6 months of hospital discharge. Risk factors such as recent suicide attempts, levels of depression, hopelessness and impulsivity were predictive of increased suicide ideation or behavior after discharge from the inpatient service. CONCLUSIONS: The high risk of suicide ideation, suicide attempts and suicide demonstrated in these recently discharged patients supports the need to develop selective prevention strategies.
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