High rates of suicide after psychiatric hospitalization are reported in many studies, yet the magnitude of the increases and the factors underlying them remain unclear.
Results A total of 100 studies reported 183 patient samples (50 samples of females, 49 of males, and 84 of mixed sex; 129 of adults or unspecified patients, 20 of adolescents, 19 of older patients, and 15 from long-term or forensic discharge facilities), including a total of 17 857 suicides during 4 725 445 person-years. The pooled estimate postdischarge suicide rate was 484 suicides per 100 000 person-years (95% CI, 422-555 suicides per 100 000 person-years; prediction interval, 89-2641), with high between-sample heterogeneity (I2 = 98%). The suicide rate was highest within 3 months after discharge (1132; 95% CI, 874-1467) and among patients admitted with suicidal ideas or behaviors (2078; 95% CI, 1512-2856). Pooled suicide rates per 100 000 patients-years were 654 for studies with follow-up periods of 3 months to 1 year, 494 for studies with follow-up periods of 1 to 5 years, 366 for studies with follow-up periods of 5 to 10 years, and 277 for studies with follow-up periods longer than 10 years. Suicide rates were higher among samples collected in the periods 1995-2004 (656; 95% CI, 518-831) and 2005-2016 (672; 95% CI, 428-1055) than in earlier samples.
Conclusions and Relevance The immediate postdischarge period is a time of marked risk, but rates of suicide remain high for many years after discharge. Patients admitted because of suicidal ideas or behaviors and those in the first months after discharge should be a particular focus of concern. Previously admitted patients should be able to access long-term care and assistance.