Rory C O'Connor

Rory C O'Connor
University of Glasgow | UofG · Institute of Health and Wellbeing

BSc PhD CPsychol AFBPsS FAcSS

About

275
Publications
188,521
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19,865
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Introduction
Rory O'Connor leads the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory (SBRL) at the University of Glasgow (www.suicideresearch.info). He has been conducting research into suicide and self-harm since 1994 and he established the SBRL (originally named SBRG) in 2003. It has an international reputation for conducting high quality, theoretically-grounded and innovative research and it is the leading suicide and self-harm research group in Scotland.

Publications

Publications (275)
Article
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Mental health smartphone apps could increase the safety and self-management of patients at risk of suicide, but it is still unclear whether it is feasible to integrate such apps into routine mental healthcare. This study reports on the feasibility of using a safety planning app (BackUp) and a self-monitoring app (mEMA) as components of the routine...
Article
There have been numerous qualitative studies into the impact of the death of a patient by suicide on clinicians, but the majority of studies have focussed on psychiatrists and psychologists, primarily in inpatient or secondary care settings. To date, little has been done to explore the impact of such deaths on other mental health practitioners work...
Article
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Objective Colorectal screening using faecal immunochemical tests (FITs) can save lives if the people invited participate. In Scotland, most people intend to complete a FIT but this is not reflected in uptake rates. Planning interventions can bridge this intention-behaviour gap. To develop a tool supporting people willing to do colorectal screening...
Conference Paper
Objectives Childhood adversity (CA) carries an increased risk of developing later mental health (MH) problems and suicidal behaviour. This study aimed to summarise lifetime hospital attendances for CA and MH in young people who later died by suicide. ApproachThis study is a retrospective longitudinal case control study. Lifetime Scottish inpatient...
Article
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Background A previous suicide attempt is an important predictor of future suicide. However, there are no evidence-based interventions administered in UK general hospital contexts to reduce suicidal behaviour in patients admitted following a suicide attempt. Consequently, the objective of this pilot randomised controlled trial was to explore whether...
Preprint
Background As part of the COVID-19 pandemic, a huge amount of information has been shared to keep people informed about health-related and other topics. While information-seeking has generally been seen as an adaptive response to the pandemic, it can result in negative outcomes including on mental health. The present study reports longitudinal data...
Article
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Background Waves 1 to 3 (March 2020 to May 2020) of the UK COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing study suggested an improvement in some indicators of mental health across the first 6 weeks of the UK lockdown; however, suicidal ideation increased. Aims To report the prevalence of mental health and well-being of adults in the UK from March/April 2020...
Article
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Suicide is a leading public health concern. Research studies have identified significant associations between loneliness and suicidal ideation/behaviour both cross-sectionally and prospectively. Despite this, research specifically focusing on identifying the nature of loneliness experienced prior to suicide, and the role it has in association with...
Preprint
Background The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with psychological distress. In addition to physical effects including fatigue and cognitive impairment, contracting COVID-19 itself may also be related to subsequent negative mental health outcomes. The present study reports data from a longitudinal, national survey of the UK adult population, i...
Article
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Background: The lasting effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic are likely to be significant. Aims: This study tracked worry and rumination levels during the pandemic and investigated whether periods with higher COVID-related worry and rumination were associated with more negative mental health and loneliness. Methods: A quota survey...
Article
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Objectives: This study provides an in-depth understanding of the impact of physical distancing restrictions and other quarantining measures during the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical and mental health and well-being. Design: Longitudinal qualitative research using semistructured interviews at two time points (21 May to 10 Jun...
Article
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Suicide prevention is an important public mental health issue that can be significantly brought forward by recent advances in psychological research methods and assessment. The project “TempRes” aims to harness the power of Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) to investigate the transdiagnostic risk and resilience factors associated with suicidal...
Article
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Background The aim of the study was to crystallize the nature of relationships between impulsivity, aggression, and suicidality. We reviewed studies of adults with published, psychometric measures of impulsivity and aggression, and measures of suicidality. Methods Our primary data source was Web of Science (from inception to 31st December 2021). Q...
Article
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Background Autism and autistic traits are risk factors for suicidal behaviour. Aims To explore the prevalence of autism (diagnosed and undiagnosed) in those who died by suicide, and identify risk factors for suicide in this group. Method Stage 1: 372 coroners’ inquest records, covering the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2017 from two region...
Article
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Background Relatively little is known about the characteristics of people living in the community who have previously self-harmed and may benefit from interventions during and after COVID-19. We therefore aimed to: (a) examine the relationship between reported self-harm and COVID-19-related fear, and (b) describe the characteristics of a community...
Article
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Objective The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on higher education, with the closure of student campuses. The aim of this study was to examine changes and prevalence of mental health problems, suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviour, and their associations with COVID-19-related restrictions. Design, setting and participants As part...
Article
Background Previous research has highlighted the importance of understanding which psychosocial factors distinguish between those with suicide thoughts compared to those who attempt suicide. This study aims to investigate these distinguishing factors further within an ideation-to-action framework and to explore sex differences in suicide risk. Met...
Article
Cognitive behavioural therapists based in primary care are not usually expected to provide therapy to acutely suicidal individuals or work directly on suicidal thoughts. However, all practitioners should be vigilant about suicide risk and potentially help to reduce vulnerabilities to future suicide risk as part of their routine work. Many of the ri...
Article
Background: To date little has been done to evaluate the effectiveness of suicide risk formulation training. Aims: We aimed to investigate the psychometric properties of a new scale measuring clinicians' confidence in assessing, formulating, and managing suicide risk. Method: A total of 128 mental health practitioners from an UK National Health Ser...
Article
Self-harm is a major public health concern. In order to respond to self-harm effectively, it is important to understand the factors associated with self-harm with and without suicidal intent. To this end, we investigated psychological factors selected from the Integrated Motivational-Volitional (IMV) model of suicidal behaviour in individuals who h...
Article
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Background : The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the mental health of healthcare and social care workers, and its potential effect on suicidal thoughts and behaviour is of particular concern. Methods : This systematic review identified and appraised the published literature that has reported on the impact of COVID-19 on suicidal thoughts an...
Article
Background The volitional help sheet (VHS) for self-harm equips people with a means of responding automatically to triggers for self-harm with coping strategies. Although there is some evidence of its efficacy, improving acceptability and making the intervention available in a web-based format may be crucial to increasing effectiveness and reach....
Article
Suicide is a global health issue. Dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity, as measured by cortisol levels, has been identified as one potential risk factor. Evidence is emerging to suggest that different psychological factors may be associated with increased resilience and vulnerability in this context. The current study inv...
Article
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Importance Self-harm is a risk factor for suicide in adolescents, with the prevalence highest in young people in group and residential care programs. Although no established risk factors for self-harm exist, adolescents who self-harm may have decreased pain sensitivity, but this has not been systematically investigated. Objective To assess somatos...
Preprint
Background: The lasting effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are likely to be significant, particularly in regard to mental health and wellbeing. The current study aimed to track worry and rumination (perseverative cognition) levels during the COVID-19 pandemic and to investigate whether periods with higher COVID-related worr...
Article
Suicide is a worldwide public health concern claiming approximately 800,000 lives around the world every year. The impact of loneliness on mental and physical wellbeing has received increasing attention in recent years, however its role in the emergence of self-injurious thoughts and behaviours is unclear. The current study explored loneliness in r...
Article
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused considerable morbidity, mortality and disruption to people’s lives around the world. There are concerns that rates of suicide and suicidal behaviour may rise during and in its aftermath. Our living systematic review synthesises findings from emerging literature on incidence and prevalence of suicidal beh...
Article
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Suicidal behaviour is a complex phenomenon—its aetiology spans biological, psychological, environmental, social and cultural facets. Men’s deaths by suicide outnumber women in every country in the world. This study explored the male experience of suicide attempts and recovery as well as factors which may be protective for men. Men (n = 12) particip...
Article
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Background Safety planning-type interventions (SPTIs) for patients at risk of suicide are often used in clinical practice, but it is unclear whether these interventions are effective. Aims This article reports on a meta-analysis of studies that have evaluated the effectiveness of SPTIs in reducing suicidal behaviour and ideation. Method We search...
Article
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Summary Background The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound mental health consequences for many people. Concerns have been expressed that, at their most extreme, these consequences could manifest as increased suicide rates. We aimed to assess the early effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates around the world. Methods We sourced real-time s...
Article
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In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the swift response of mental health research funders and institutions, service providers, and academics enabled progress toward understanding the mental health consequences. Nevertheless, there remains an urgent need to understand the true extent of the short- and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on m...
Preprint
BACKGROUND The volitional help sheet (VHS) for self-harm equips people with a means of responding automatically to triggers for self-harm with coping strategies. Although there is some evidence of its efficacy, improving acceptability and making the intervention available in a web-based format may be crucial to increasing effectiveness and reach....
Article
Rationale Suicides by men outnumber those by women in every country of the world. To date, there has not been a comprehensive systematic review of risk factors for suicidal behaviour in men to better understand the excess deaths by suicide in men. Objective The present systematic review seeks to determine the nature and extent of the risk factors...
Article
Background Evidence-based theoretical models outlining the pathways to the development of suicidal ideation may inform treatment. The current research draws from the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (IPT) and the Integrated Motivational-Volitional (IMV) Model of suicidal behaviour and aims to test the interaction between perceived burdensomeness and...
Chapter
Around 800,000 people take their own lives annually, impacting families, communities, health professionals and the society in general, a picture that reveals the urgent need for better ways of understanding and preventing suicides. The current article provides an overview of suicide risk, clinical assessment and intervention across four main parts:...
Article
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Objectives This study aimed to identify demographic and psychological predictors of seasonal influenza vaccination intentions and behaviour among a sample of inpatients in a secure forensic mental health service. It also sought to explore patient experiences about being offered the vaccine. Design This study used a mixed-methods design. The quanti...
Article
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Background: Although research has identified a wide range of risk factors for suicidal behaviour in prisoners, it does not establish who is most likely to act on their suicidal thoughts while incarcerated. Methods: Self-report data were collected from a random sample of 1203 adult men incarcerated across 15 prisons in Belgium, who represent 12% of...
Article
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Background: Infectious disease-related public health emergencies (epidemics) may increase suicide risk, and high-quality evidence is needed to guide an international response. Aims: We investigated the potential impacts of epidemics on suicide-related outcomes. Method: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycInfo, CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science, PsyArXiv,...
Article
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Background The effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the population's mental health and well-being are likely to be profound and long lasting. Aims To investigate the trajectory of mental health and well-being during the first 6 weeks of lockdown in adults in the UK. Method A quota survey design and a sampling frame that permitted rec...
Article
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Background Exposure to residential greenery accumulates over people’s lifetimes, and possibly has a protective association with suicide later in life. Objectives To examine the associations between suicide mortality and long-term residential greenery exposure in male and female adults. Methods Our population-based nested case-control study used l...
Article
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Stress and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation play a major role in various pathophysiological processes associated with both mood disorders and suicidal behavior. We conducted a systematic review with the primary aim of clarifying the nature and extent of HPA axis activity and suicidal behavior. The second aim of this review wa...
Article
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There is a growing body of research investigating the impact on mental health professionals of losing a patient through suicide. However, the nature and extent of the impact is unclear. This systematic review synthesises both quantitative and qualitative studies in the area. The aim was to review the literature on the impact of losing a patient thr...
Article
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused morbidity and mortality, as well as, widespread disruption to people’s lives and livelihoods around the world. Given the health and economic threats posed by the pandemic to the global community, there are concerns that rates of suicide and suicidal behaviour may rise during and in its aftermath. Our liv...
Article
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Background Cognitive impairment (i.e. lower IQ/cognitive development) in individuals who have experienced childhood maltreatment is well documented in the literature. It is not yet clear whether maltreatment itself causes cognitive impairment, or whether reduced cognitive functioning pre-dates maltreatment exposure and places children at risk of ma...
Article
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Background Suicidal behavior is the result of complex interactions between many different factors that change over time. A network perspective may improve our understanding of these complex dynamics. Within the network perspective, psychopathology is considered to be a consequence of symptoms that directly interact with one another in a network str...
Article
Full-text available
Background National guidelines for the short-term management of self-harm are aimed at healthcare professionals who may be involved in the care of people who have self-harmed. However, evidence from small-scale studies globally suggest there is a lack of awareness of such guidelines among some groups of healthcare professionals. For the first time...
Article
Until recently, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and behaviours have not received extensive attention in autism research. The extant research evidence indicates high rates of self- harm and suicidality in autistic people, but little research exploring why, or how this could be prevented. This special issue brings together a guest editorial team of auti...
Article
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread morbidity and mortality as well as disruption to people’s lives and livelihoods around the world; this has occurred as a result of both infection with the virus itself and the health protection measures taken to curb its spread. There are concerns that rates of suicide, suicidal behaviours and...
Article
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The scope of mental health research in the COVID-19 Pandemic and its aftermath - Matthew Hotopf, Ed Bullmore, Rory C O'Connor, Emily A. Holmes
Article
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Objective: This review tested the use of psychological theories for predicting seasonal influenza vaccination behaviour among adults with a health condition (for which the vaccine is clinically indicated). Methods: Ovid (1946–August 2018), Embase (1974–August 2018), CINAHL (1958–August 2018) and PSYCInfo (1986–August 2018) databases were searched....
Article
Background: Suicidal behaviours and non-suicidal self-harm (NSSH) are global public health concerns that affect millions of lives. Sources of data: This review is a narrative synthesis of systematic reviews, meta-analyses of randomized control trials (RCTs) and landmark studies published in scientific journals. Areas of agreement: Restricting...
Article
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Background Suicide and suicidal behaviour are global health concerns with complex aetiologies. Given the recent research and policy focus on loneliness, this systematic review aimed to determine the extent to which loneliness predicts suicidal ideation and/or behaviour (SIB) over time. Methods A keyword search of five major databases (CINHAL, Medl...
Article
Objective: This study aimed to identify vulnerability and protective factors for suicidal histories among adults experiencing psychological trauma. Method: Adults seeking treatment for psychological trauma (N = 113) completed self-report questionnaires measuring childhood trauma history, self-concept, relational functioning, emotion regulation, liv...
Article
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Abstact Background : The predictive accuracy of suicidal behaviour has not improved over the last decades. We aimed to explore the potential of machine learning to predict future suicidal behaviour using population-based longitudinal data. Method : Baseline risk data assessed within the Scottish wellbeing study, in which 3508 young adults (18-34...
Article
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IntroductionSuicide is a tragic outcome with devastating consequences. In 2018, Scotland experienced a 15% increase in suicide from 680 to 784 deaths. This was marked among young people, with an increase of 53% in those aged 15-24, the highest since 2007. Early intervention in those most at risk is key, but identification of individuals at risk is...
Article
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a profound effect on all aspects of society, including mental health and physical health. We explore the psychological, social, and neuroscientific effects of COVID-19 and set out the immediate priorities and longer-term strategies for mental health science research. These priorities were i...
Article
Machine learning (ML) is an increasingly popular approach/technique for analyzing “Big Data” and predicting risk behaviors and psychological problems. However, few published critiques of ML as an approach currently exist. We discuss some fundamental cautions and concerns with ML that are relevant when attempting to predict all clinical and forensic...