Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among middle-aged and older patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and concurrent subsyndromal depression

Lori P Montross, John Kasckow, Shahrokh Golshan, Ellen Solorzano, David Lehman, Sidney Zisook
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2008, 196 (12): 884-90
This study examines the prevalence and correlates of current suicidal ideation and past suicide attempts among patients aged 40 and older with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and concurrent depressive symptoms. Nearly half the sample (n = 132) reported having attempted suicide once or more in their lifetime; those who had attempted, exhibited greater depression and psychopathology. A regression analysis revealed that only past suicide attempts and hopelessness significantly accounted for the presence of current suicidal ideation. Surprisingly, current suicidal ideation did not differ by diagnosis, race/ethnicity, marital status, living situation, age, education, or severity of medical illness. Overall, suicidal ideation and the presence of past suicide attempts were remarkably prevalent, highlighting the need for continued clinical vigilance with this patient population. The impact of hopelessness and general psychopathology, as well as the insignificance of demographic characteristics and medical illness severity warrant further investigation.

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