The present study aimed to investigate predictors for planned suicide attempters.
This study included 1,003 patients who attempted suicide and visited emergency department. They were divided into two groups, planned suicide attempters (SAs; n=133 [13.3%]) and impulsive SAs (n=870, [86.7%]), and the demographic variables, clinical characteristics, factors related to suicide, and psychiatric resources of the groups were compared.
Major depressive disorder and substance use disorders were more common among planned SAs than among impulsive SAs. Additionally, the planned SAs were older, more likely to be divorced, separated or widowed, and more likely to have comorbid medical illnesses, severe depression, higher suicidality, and self-blaming tendencies than the impulsive SAs. Financial problems and physical illnesses were more common in planned SAs but interpersonal conflicts were more frequent in impulsive SAs. Planned SAs had fewer previous suicide attempts but these were more serious suicide attempts. The presence of the hope to die, a written will, and suicidal ideation of a repetitive, intense, and continuous nature were predictive of planned SAs.
The present findings demonstrated that planned SAs had more severe psychopathology and medical illnesses than impulsive SAs. Therefore, screening for depression, substance use disorders, and suicidal plans among old and medically ill patients may be important for preventing suicide attempts.