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Clinical correlates of planned, more lethal suicide attempts in major depressive disorder.

Nakagawa, Atsuo; Grunebaum, Michael F; Oquendo, Maria A; Burke, Ainsley K; Kashima, Haruo; Mann, J John.
J Affect Disord; 112(1-3): 237-42, 2009 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-18485486

BACKGROUND:

Assessment of suicide plans is standard in acute psychiatric care, but there is a limited evidence base to guide this routine clinical practice. The purpose of this study was to investigate clinical correlates of suicide planning in depressed patients.

METHODS:

151 patients with major depressive disorder and a lifetime history of suicide attempt were studied. Subjects received a comprehensive evaluation including structured diagnostic interview for Axis I and II disorders, current symptoms, impulsivity, and systematic assessment of suicide planning prior to the most recent suicide attempt.

RESULTS:

Seriousness of suicide attempt planning correlated with lethality of suicidal acts. Comorbid anxiety disorder and anxiety correlated with less suicide planning. Specifically, this negative correlation was with comorbid panic disorder. Planning did not correlate with severity of depression or aggressive/impulsive traits.

LIMITATIONS:

Cross-sectional design, retrospective recall of suicide planning data, limited applicability to completed suicide or other psychiatric disorders.

CONCLUSIONS:

In major depression, comorbid panic disorder appears protective against more carefully planned, higher lethality suicide attempts. Surprisingly, severity of depression and aggressive impulsive traits do not predict planning or lethality of suicide attempts. We have previously reported that anxiety severity protects against the probability of a suicide attempt and now extend that observation to show there is protection against lethality of a suicide attempt. Treatment of anxiety without directly treating major depression may place patients at greater risk of suicidal behavior.
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