JOURNAL ARTICLE

Are predictors of future suicide attempts and the transition from suicidal ideation to suicide attempts shared or distinct: a 12-month prospective study among patients with depressive disorders

Lai Fong Chan, Azhar Shah Shamsul, Thambu Maniam
Psychiatry Research 2014 December 30, 220 (3): 867-73
25240940
Our study aimed to examine the interplay between clinical and social predictors of future suicide attempt and the transition from suicidal ideation to suicide attempt in depressive disorders. Sixty-six Malaysian inpatients with a depressive disorder were assessed at index admission and within 1 year for suicide attempt, suicidal ideation, depression severity, life event changes, treatment history and relevant clinical and socio-demographic factors. One-fifth of suicidal ideators transitioned to a future suicide attempt. All future attempters (12/66) had prior ideation and 83% of attempters had a prior attempt. The highest risk for transitioning from ideation to attempt was 5 months post-discharge. Single predictor models showed that previous psychiatric hospitalization and ideation severity were shared predictors of future attempt and ideation to attempt transition. Substance use disorders (especially alcohol) predicted future attempt and approached significance for the transition process. Low socio-economic status predicted the transition process while major personal injury/illness predicted future suicide attempt. Past suicide attempt, subjective depression severity and medication compliance predicted only future suicide attempt. The absence of prior suicide attempt did not eliminate the risk of future attempt. Given the limited sample, future larger studies on mechanisms underlying the interactions of such predictors are needed.

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