Year: 2016 Source: Journal of Affective Disorders.(2016).199:73Ð80. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2016.03.054 SIEC No: 20160305

This study examined the role of mental pain, communication difficulties, and suicide history in predicting the medical severity of follow-up suicide attempts. Methods The cohort included 153 consecutive psychiatric in-patients who participated in earlier studies 1-9 years previously. Fifty-three had a history of a medically serious suicide attempt (MSSA), 64 had a history of a medically non-serious suicide attempt (MNSSA), and 36 had no history of suicide. A MSSA was defined as a suicide attempt that warranted hospitalization for at least 24 h and extensive medical treatment. Participants completed a battery of instruments measuring mental pain and communication difficulties. Findings were analyzed in relation to follow-up suicide attempts and their severity. Results Fifty-three patients (35.5%) had attempted suicide: 15 (9.9%) a MSSA (including 5 fatalities) and 38 (25%) a MNSSA. The medical severity of the index attempt and level of hopelessness at the index attempt were significantly correlated with medical severity of the follow-up attempt. In younger patients, high levels of depression and self-disclosure predicted the medical severity of the follow-up attempt. In patients with relatively low hopelessness, the medical severity of the attempt increased with the level of self-disclosure. Conclusions Patients who have made a suicide attempt should be assessed for medical severity of the attempt, hopelessness, and communication difficulties, which are important factors in follow-up attempts.