Reassessment of suicide attempters at home, shortly after discharge from hospital
Verwey, B., van Waarde, J.A., Bozdag, M.A., van Rooij, I., de Beurs, E., & Zitman, F.G.
Background: Assessment of suicide attempters in a general hospital may be influenced by the condition of the patient and the unfavorable circumstances of the hospital environment. Aims: To determine whether the results of a reassessment at home shortly after discharge from hospital differ from the initial assessment in the hospital. Methods: In this prospective study, systematic assessment of 52 suicide attempters in a general hospital was compared with reassessment at home, shortly after discharge. Results: Reassessments at home concerning suicide intent, motives for suicide attempt, and dimensions of psychopathology did not differ significantly from the initial hospital assessment. However, patients' motives for the suicide attempt had changed to being less impulsive and more suicidal, worrying was significantly higher, and self-esteem was significantly lower. A third of the patients had forgotten their aftercare arrangements and most patients who initially felt no need for additional help had changed their mind at reassessment. Conclusions: Results from this group of suicide attempters suggest that a brief reassessment at home shortly after discharge from hospital should be considered.