Behind impulsive suicide attempts: Indications from a community study

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Title Behind impulsive suicide attempts: Indications from a community study
Author Wyder, Marianne; De Leo, Diego
Journal Name Journal of Affective Disorders
Year Published 2007
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract Aim A considerable proportion of suicide attempts are made on impulse. However, knowledge of characteristics of impulsive attempters is still limited. The present study investigated some of these characteristics and aimed to identify the pattern (if any) of suicidal ideation before an impulsive attempt. Methods Data from a randomized and stratified population of 5130 individuals from Brisbane, Australia, were analysed. Computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) were adopted to recruit subjects. Those reporting previous suicidal behaviour were sent a questionnaire by mail. Results One hundred and twelve subjects reported a suicide attempt. One quarter of these described a pattern consistent with an impulsive attempt. Most impulsive attempters experienced suicidal thoughts before their attempt. They were less likely to believe that their attempt would cause death, and less likely to experience depression. Impulsive attempters did not differ significantly from non-impulsive attempters in regards to age, gender, and motivations for the attempt. Surprisingly, no differences in mean scores of trait impulsivity between impulsive and non-impulsive attempters were found. In addition, the majority of suicide attempters (whether impulsive or not) experienced the suicidal process as fluctuating and not as developing along a continuum. Limitations The number of attempters who validly entered the study limited our ability to identify potential confounders. Due to the retrospective nature of the survey, the reliability of the information collected may have been affected by recall biases. In addition, as the surveys were administered by mail, it is possible that some questions may have been misinterpreted. Conclusions The presence of suicidal feelings prior to an attempt constitutes an opportunity for intervention also in impulsive attempters. However, the identification of impulsiveness requires more research efforts.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2007.02.015
Volume 104
Issue Number 39873
Page from 167
Page to 173
ISSN 0165-0327
Date Accessioned 2007-12-20
Language en_AU
Research Centre Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject PRE2009-Medical and Health Sciences
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/17360
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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