Year: 2010 Source: BMC Psychiatry, v.10, article no.14, (2010), p.1-6 SIEC No: 20100259

This study describes the social & clinical characteristics of people who had absconded from an inpatient psychiatric ward prior to suicide, including aspects of the clinical care they received. A national clinical survey based on a 10-year (1997-2006) sample of people in England & Wales who died by suicide was done. 469 patients died after absconding from the ward, representing 25% of all inpatient suicides & 38% of those that occurred off the ward. Absconding suicides were characterised by being young, unemployed, & homeless. Schizophrenia was the most common diagnosis & rates of previous violence & substance misuse were high. Clinicians reported more problems in observation due to either the ward design or other patients on the ward. (29 refs.)