Hopelessness and suicidal behavior

A Niméus, L Träskman-Bendz, M Alsén
Journal of Affective Disorders 1997, 42 (2): 137-44
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS) with suicidal behavior and other clinical variables in 212 hospitalized suicide attempters. Another purpose was to analyze the usefulness of BHS in this particular context. Those who later committed suicide (N = 13) had significantly higher median scores than those who did not. Even though the median BHS score for the total population was above the cut-off score for future suicide risk, suggested by Beck et al., the relative ratio of correctly positive/false positive was low. Therefore the BHS does not seem to be a satisfactory instrument for predicting future suicide in hospitalized suicide attempters. Our findings rather suggest that the BHS is related to depression ratings, mood disorders and/or personality disorders.

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