Revisiting the Association of Aggression and Suicidal Behavior in Schizophrenic Inpatients
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
(Impact Factor: 1.4).
02/2011; 41(2):171-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1943-278X.2011.00018.x
Our study investigated the association of aggression and suicidal behavior in schizophrenic inpatients. Eight thousand nine hundred one admissions for schizophrenia (1998-2007) to a psychiatric university hospital were included. Schizophrenic suicides (n = 7)/suicide attempters (n = 40) were compared to suicides (n = 30)/suicide attempters (n = 186) with other diagnoses and to schizophrenic non-attempters regarding aggression. Logistic regression analysis was performed to explore risk factors for attempted suicide. Schizophrenic suicides/suicide attempters did not differ from other suicides/suicide attempters or from schizophrenic non-attempters with regard to aggression. Risk of inpatient suicide attempt was increased for patients with attempted suicide at admission, high school graduation, and disorganized subtype. Aggression could not be found to be a predictor of attempted suicide. Aggression seems to have a minor role for suicidal behavior in schizophrenia.
Available from: PubMed Central
- "Interestingly, a cross-sectional survey did not find aggression to be a predictor of attempted suicide. Aggression seems to have only a minor role in suicidal behavior in schizophrenia . Aggression is complex, and it is unclear whether increased aggression correlates with suicide. "
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Although there are accumulating data regarding the epidemiology of suicide in China, there are meager data on suicidal ideation and attempts among college students. Interestingly, elevated impulsivity is thought to facilitate the transition from suicidal thoughts to suicidal behavior. Therefore, the objective of this research was to identify the associations between suicide and the personality factors of impulsivity and aggression.
This study’s sampling method employed stratified random cluster sampling. A multi-stage stratified sampling procedure was used to select participants (n = 5,245). We conducted structured interviews regarding a range of socio-demographic characteristics and suicidal morbidity. The Patient Health Questionnaire depression module (PHQ-9) was used to acquire the information about thoughts of being better off dead or hurting themselves in some ways during the past two weeks. The impulsivity symptoms in this study were assessed with the BIS-11-CH (i.e., the Chinese version of the BIS-11), and the Aggressive symptoms were assessed with the BAQ. The statistical package for social science (SPSS) v.13.0 program (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used for statistical analysis. Socio-demographic variables such as ethnic and gender were compared between groups, through the use of χ2 tests. The nonparametric test (k Independent Sample test, Kruskal-Wallis H) was performed to determine differences between the personality factors of impulsivity and aggression and suicide.
In total, 9.1% (n = 479) of the 5,245 students reported they have ever thought about committing suicide; and 1% (n = 51) reported a history of attempted suicide (attempters). The analyses detected significant differences in scores on cognitive impulsivity (p < 0.01), when comparing individuals who only had suicidal ideation and individuals who had attempted suicide. Moreover, significant differences were found between ideators only and attempters on scores of self-oriented attack (p < .001).
Suicidal ideation is prevalent among Chinese university students. Students with high aggression scores were more susceptible to committing suicide. Scores on self-oriented attack and cognitive impulsivity may be important factors for differentially predicting suicide ideation and suicide attempts.
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Low plasma total cholesterol (TC) levels have been found in subjects after a suicide attempt in most studies. Other studies question these results because of possible influences on TC of somatic effects due to the attempt (drugs, somatic trauma, hospitalization), or nutritional habits and physical activity before attempt, especially in patients with depression.
To address this issue, TC levels were estimated in 51 subjects on admission to psychiatric clinic after a suicide attempt, as well as later in follow-up when patients were back in their normal activities. Patients were evaluated for suicide intent (SIS), aggression, and severity of depression (BDI).
A small (7% in the mean) but statistically significant increase in plasma cholesterol levels was observed in samples taken in follow-up compared to samples after attempt. However, TC levels of patients were significantly lower than controls in both assessments. There were no differences in TC between violent and non-violent attempters, either after attempt or in follow-up. In the subgroup of patients with major affective disorder, TC levels were lower compared to age-matched controls in both assessments, although patients showed significant reductions in BDI score in follow-up. In this subgroup, TC levels after attempt correlated negatively to SIS score.
TC levels in psychiatric patients after a suicide attempt are lower than healthy controls and remain low in follow-up, independently from the severity of psychopathology. The results support the role of plasma total cholesterol as a biological risk factor in suicidal behavior, especially in affective patients.
Available from: Ulrich Palm
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The study aimed to examine suicidal behaviour during in-patient care in a psychiatric university hospital.
Based upon a psychiatric basic documentation system prevalence and risk factors of in-patient suicides and suicide attempts were investigated (1995 - 2010).
A total of 42 in-patient suicides and 166 attempts were found among 16 251 patients. According to the multivariate logistic regression analysis the risk of suicide during hospitalization increases significantly for male patients, with more previous psychiatric hospitalizations and suicidality according to clinical impression at admission or suicide attempt before admission. Patients with affective or schizophrenic disorders were at highest risk. The following risk factors are associated with suicide attempt during stay: female gender, borderline personality disorder (F60.3), more previous psychiatric hospitalizations, shorter duration of disorder, earlier age of onset, suicidality according to clinical impression at admission or suicide attempt before admission.
As depressive and schizophrenic patients represent the high-risk group of in-patient suicide, suicide prevention should be a major goal in their treatment. More frequent suicide risk assessment is recommended particularly before granting a leave or an outing.
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