Suicide inside: A systematic review of inpatient suicides
until further notice
SourceJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 198, 5, (2010), pp. 315-326
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
The literature on inpatient suicides was systematically reviewed. English, German, and Dutch articles were identified by means of the electronic databases PsycInfo, Cochrane, Medline, EMBASE psychiatry, CINAHL, and British Nursing Index. In total, 98 articles covering almost 15,000 suicides were reviewed and analyzed. Rates and demographic features connected to suicides varied substantially between articles, suggesting distinct subgroups of patients committing suicide (e. g., depressed vs. schizophrenic patients) with their own suicide determinants and patterns. Early in the admission is clearly a high-risk period for suicide, but risk declines more slowly for patients with schizophrenia. Suicide rates were found to be associated with admission numbers, and as expected, previous suicidal behavior was found to be a robust predictor of future suicide. The methods used for suicide are linked to availability of means. Timing and location of suicides seem to be associated with absence of support, supervision, and the presence of family conflict. Although there is a strong notion that suicides cluster in time, clear statistical evidence for this is lacking. For prevention of suicides, staff need to engage with patients' family problems, and reduce absconding without locking the door. Future research should take into account the heterogeneous subgroups of patients who commit suicide, with case-control studies addressing these separately.
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