Suicide in Schizophrenia – how can Research Influence Training and Clinical Practice?
Results from a British survey (Appleby et al, 1999) revealed that 20% of suicide victims during the period 1996-1998 had a diagnosis of schizophrenia. 50% of all cases had had contact with psychiatric services within the previous 7 days, yet 85% were thought to be low risk. It seems recognition of those most at risk remains extremely difficult. What is unclear is what risk factors specific to this diagnostic group have been reliably reported in well-controlled studies, how best to incorporate these into current assessment procedures, & whether when applied to empirical clinical practice, such procedures can reduce suicide rates. This paper reviews the research findings to date, & discusses possible area for future investigation. (34 refs.)