Prevalence and correlates of suicidal ideation in a treatment-seeking sample of violent loss survivors
Williams, J.L., Eddinger, J.R., Rynearson, E.K., & Rheingold, A.A.
Background: Family members grieving the traumatic death of a loved one, as in cases of homicide, suicide, and fatal accidents, are at risk for a number of trauma and bereavement-related mental health problems, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, prolonged grief disorder, and suicidal ideation (SI). Aims: The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence and correlates of SI among a sample of 130 treatment-seeking traumatically bereaved family members. Method: Adults seeking treatment at two clinics on the US West Coast were assessed for SI, clinical outcomes, and death-related characteristics. Results: Overall, 42% of traumatically bereaved family members endorsed some form of active or passive SI on the Beck Depression Inventory suicide item. The type of loss experienced (i.e., homicide, suicide, fatal accident) was not associated with SI. Although individuals with SI reported more severe symptoms across all clinical outcomes, avoidance (OR = 2.22) and depression (OR = 1.16) were uniquely associated with SI even after adjusting for PTSD-related intrusions and hyperarousal. Limitations: Results should be interpreted in light of limitations associated with cross-sectional data and a single-item outcome of SI. Conclusion: Routine screening for SI should be standard practice for providers working with traumatically bereaved families.