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Open Access Research article

Post-hospitalization course and predictive signs of suicidal behavior of suicidal patients admitted to a psychiatric hospital: a 2-year prospective follow-up study

Naoki Hayashi1234*, Miyabi Igarashi1, Atsushi Imai1, Yuka Yoshizawa5, Kaori Utsumi5, Yoichi Ishikawa5, Taro Tokunaga1, Kayo Ishimoto1, Hirohiko Harima1, Yoshitaka Tatebayashi6, Naoki Kumagai7, Makoto Nozu8, Hidetoki Ishii9 and Yuji Okazaki1102

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

2 Schizophrenia Research Team, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo, Japan

3 Faculty of Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan

4 Department of Neuropsychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan

5 Osaka Prefectural Tondabayashi Health Center, Osaka, Japan

6 Affective Disorders Research Team, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo, Japan

7 Disabled Persons Programs Division, Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo, Japan

8 Tokyo Metropolitan Tama Comprehensive Center for Mental Health and Welfare, Tokyo, Japan

9 Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan

10 Michinoo Hospital, Nagasaki, Japan

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BMC Psychiatry 2012, 12:186  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-12-186

Published: 31 October 2012



Suicidal patients admitted to a psychiatric hospital are considered to be at risk of suicidal behavior (SB) and suicide. The present study aimed to seek predictors of SB recurrence of the high-risk patients by examining their post-hospitalization course.


The design was 2-year prospective follow-up study of patients consecutively admitted with SB to a psychiatric center in Tokyo. The DSM-IV diagnoses and SB-related features of subjects were determined in structured interviews. Subsequently, the subjects underwent a series of follow-up assessments at 6-month intervals. The assessment included inquiries into SB recurrence, its accompanying suicidal intent (SI) and SF-8 health survey. Analyses of serial change over time in the follow-up data and Cox proportional hazards regression analyses of SB recurrence were performed.


106 patients participated in this study. The dropout rate during the follow-up was 9%. Within 2 years, incidences of SB as a whole, SB with certain SI (suicide attempt) and suicide were 67% (95% CI 58 - 75%), 38% (95% CI 29 - 47%) and 6% (95% CI 3 - 12%), respectively. Younger age, number of lifetime SBs and maltreatment in the developmental period were predictive of SB as a whole, and younger age and hopelessness prior to index admission were predictive of suicide attempt. Regarding diagnostic variables, anxiety disorders and personality disorders appeared to have predictive value for SB. Additionally, poor physical health assessed during the follow-up was indicated as a possible short-term predictor of SB recurrence.


This study demonstrated a high incidence of SB and suicide and possible predictors of SB recurrence in the post-hospitalization period of psychiatric suicidal patients. Specialized interventions should be developed to reduce the suicide risk of this patient population.

Suicide attempt; Self-injurious behavior; Follow-up studies; Psychiatric hospitals; Mental disorders