Auditory hallucinations, depressive symptoms, and current suicidal ideation or behavior among patients with acute-episode schizophrenia
Yin, Y., Tong, J., Huang, J., Tian, B., Chen, S., Tan, S., ... & Hong, L.E.
Suicide risk and auditory hallucinations are common in schizophrenia, but less is known about its associations. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine whether the presence and severity of auditory hallucinations were associated with current suicidal ideation or behavior (CSIB) among patients with schizophrenia. We interviewed 299 individuals with schizophrenia and acute symptoms and reviewed their medical records. Measurement included the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scale (PSYRATS-AH), the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS), and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Logistic regression and path analysis were used. The CSIB prevalence was higher among patients with current auditory hallucination than those without (19.5% vs. 8.6%, crude odds ratio = 2.58, p = .009). Lifetime auditory hallucination experience (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 3.81; 95% CI: 1.45-10.05) or current auditory hallucination experience (AOR = 3.22; 95% CI: 1.25-8.28) can elevate the likelihood of CSIB while controlling for depressive symptoms and lifetime suicide-attempt history. Among those with auditory hallucinations, the emotional score of the PSYRATS-AH was positively associated with the CDSS score and there was a small indirect effect of the CDSS score on the association between the emotional domain score and CSIB (bias-corrected 95% CI, 0.02-0.20). In conclusion, the presence of auditory hallucinations was strongly associated with CSIB, independent of depressive symptoms and lifetime suicide attempts. Suicide risk assessment should consider auditory hallucination experience and patients' appraisal of its emotional characteristics. Future cohort studies are necessary to provide more conclusive evidence for the mediating pathways between auditory hallucinations and CSIB.HIGHLIGHTSThe presence of auditory hallucinations was associated with current suicidality.Auditory hallucinations' emotional severity was related to depressive symptoms.The severity of auditory hallucination was not directly associated with suicidality.