Suicide risk in civilian PTSD patients - Predictors of suicidal ideation, planning and attempts

  • Tarrier N
  • Gregg L
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Abstract Background There appears to be a strong connection between suicidality and the experience of trauma. The study investigated suicidality in chronic civilian post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Method Ninety-four participants suffering from chronic PTSD were assessed for suicidal ideation, plans and attempts since the index trauma as part of a comprehensive as- sessment. The prevalence of these was assessed and characteristics of those reporting suicide-related thoughts and behaviour were investigated through lo- gistic and multinominal regression analyses. Results Over half of the sample (56.4%) reported some aspect of suicidality with 38.3% reporting ideation, 8.5% report- ing suicide plans and 9.6% having made suicide at- tempts since the trauma. Of the nine participants who reported suicide attempts, six had made more than one attempt. The proportions of participants who reported suicidality in this sample were significantly greater than reported within the general population, when compar- isons were made with an epidemiological study.Logistic regression analysis indicated that a unit increase in life impairment (OR=3.1) and depression (OR=1.14) scores were independently and significantly associated with suicidality.Multinominal regression indicated that life impairment (OR=2.71) and depression (OR=1.13) scores were associated with the presence of suicidal ideation compared to no ideation, and life impairment (OR=5.75), depression (OR=1.2) scores and receiving psychotropic medication (OR=10.6) were associated with the presence of plans and attempts compared to no suicidal behaviour. Conclusions Suicide risk is elevated in those suffering from chronic PTSD and is associated with impaired functioning in combination with depres- sion.

Author-supplied keywords

  • PTSD
  • Suicidality
  • Suicide risk
  • Suicide-related thoughts and behaviour

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  • Nicholas Tarrier

  • Lynsey Gregg

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