Year: 2009 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, v.39, no.1, (February 2009), p.38-46 SIEC No: 20090307

Knowledgeable informants may be able to provide useful information about depressive symptoms and suicidal actions when a suicidal patient is uncooperative with a clinical interview or not available for a psychiatric evaluation. The present study was designed to examine information gathered from psychiatric inpatients who had attempted suicide as compared to similar information obtained from a close friend or family member. From a larger sample of adult psychiatric inpatients diagnosed with major depression, 25 suicide attempters were assessed and their reports were compared to similar information solicited from a close friend or family member. The assessment focused on depressive symptoms from the SCID and the presence of various suicidal actions. Moderate to high agreement was found on all measures. Psychiatric patients and their informants tended to agree on the presence of depressive symptoms, the presence of recent stressful life events, and specific actions taken during the suicidal crisis, suggesting that informants may be capable of providing useful information about the patient.