Prevention of depression-related suicides in primary care.

Department of Clinical and Theoretical Mental Health, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.
Psychiatria Hungarica: A Magyar Pszichiatriai Tarsasag tudomanyos folyoirata 01/2012; 27(2):72-81.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Suicide attempt and completed suicide are rare events in the community, but they are quite common among psychiatric patients who contact their GPs before the suicide event. The current prevalence of unipolar and bipolar major depressive episode in general practice is around ten percent but unfortunately about half of these cases remain unrecognized, untreated or mistreated. Major depressive episode is the most common current psychiatric diagnosis among suicide victims and attempters (56-87%) and successful acute and long-term treatment of depression significantly reduces the risk of suicidal behaviour even in this high-risk population. As over half of all suicide victims contact their GPs within four weeks before their death, primary care doctors play an important role in suicide prediction and prevention. Five large-scale community studies demonstrate that education of GPs and other medical professionals on the diagnosis and appropriate pharmacotherapy of depression, particularly in combination with psycho-social interventions and public education improve the identification and treatment of depression and reduces the rate of completed and attempted suicide in the areas served by trained doctors.

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    ABSTRACT: Despite the magnitude and increase of sickness absence due to mental diagnoses, little is known regarding long-term health outcomes. The aim of this nationwide population-based, prospective cohort study was to investigate the association between sickness absence due to specific mental diagnoses and the risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality. A cohort of all 4 857 943 individuals living in Sweden on 31.12.2004 (aged 16-64 years, not sickness absent, or on retirement or disability pension), was followed from 01.01.2005 through 31.12.2008 for all-cause and cause-specific mortality (suicide, cancer, circulatory disease) through linkage of individual register data. Individuals with at least one new sick-leave spell with a mental diagnosis in 2005 were compared to individuals with no sickness absence. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated by Cox regression, adjusting for age, sex, education, country of birth, family situation, area of residence, and pre-existing morbidity (diagnosis-specific hospital inpatient (2000-2005) and outpatient (2001-2005) care). In the multivariate analyses, mental sickness absence in 2005 was associated with an increased risk for all-cause mortality: HR: 1.65, 95% CI: 1.47-1.86 in women and in men: 1.73, 1.57-1.91; for suicide, cancer (both smoking and non-smoking related) as well as mortality due to circulatory disease only in men. Estimates for cause-specific mortality ranged from 1.48 to 3.37. Associations with all-cause mortality were found for all mental sickness absence diagnostic groups studied. Knowledge about the prognosis of patients sickness absent with specific mental diagnoses is of crucial clinical importance in health care. Sickness absence due to specific mental diagnoses may here be used as a risk indictor for subsequent mortality.
    PLoS ONE 09/2012; 7(9):e45788. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0045788 · 3.53 Impact Factor