Aggression, impulsivity, and their predictive value on medical lethality of suicide attempts: A follow-up study on hospitalized patients

Yari Gvion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background This study examined the role of aggressive-impulsive variants, and suicide history in predicting the medical severity of follow-up suicide attempts. Methods 97 consecutive psychiatric in-patients who participated in earlier study 2–5 years previously. Thirty-three had a history of a medically serious suicide attempt (MSSA), 29 had a history of a medically non-serious suicide attempt (MNSSA), and 35 had no history of suicide. Participants completed a battery of instruments measuring aggressive-impulsive variables, hopelessness and communication difficulties. Findings were analyzed in relation to follow-up suicide attempts and their severity. Results 32 patients (33%) had attempted suicide: 9 (9.27%) (including one death) MSSSA. Of these, 7 patients were MSSAs in the index attempt and 2 were MNSSAs in the index attempt. 23 (23.7%) MNSSA: Of these, 6 were MSSAs in the index attempt; 13, MNSSAs in the index attempt and 4 from the non-suicidal psychiatric group. 65 patients (67%) did not attempt suicide during the period since the index studies. Anger-out, violence impulsivity and hopelessness had significant positive correlations with medical severity of follow-up suicide attempts. Similar correlations were found between anger-out, violence and the amount of follow-up suicide attempts. A hierarchical regression analysis was conducted to determine contribution of study variables to severity of future suicide attempts. Severity of index attempt, hopelessness aggressive-impulsive variants and two interactions (medical severity of index suicide attempt X impulsivity and self-disclosure X anger-in) accounted for 44.7% of the variance of the medical severity of follow-up suicide attempts. Limitations (i) Possibly incomplete patient information, as some of the patients who participated in the index studies could not be located. (ii) Relatively small group of patients with an index MSSA. Conclusions The major findings of this paper are the predictive value of MSSA vs. MNSSA. The Lethality of future suicide attempt is closely linked to the lethality of former suicide attempt, impulsivity and hopelessness. Thus, patients who have made a suicide attempt should be assessed for medical severity of the attempt, impulsive-aggressive measures hopelessness, and communication difficulties, which are important factors in follow-up attempts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-846
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume227
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Hopelessness
  • Impulsivity
  • MSSA
  • Suicide

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