A comparison of the characteristics of suicide attempters with and without psychiatric consultation before their suicidal behaviours: a cross-sectional study
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Fukuoka University, 7-45-1 Nanakuma, Jonan-ku, Fukuoka 814-0180, Japan
BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14:146 doi:10.1186/1471-244X-14-146Published: 21 May 2014
Because psychiatric disorders are risk factors for suicide, psychiatric consultation should be an essential element of suicide prevention among individuals with a high risk of suicide. The aim of the present study was to compare the characteristics of individuals who had or had not received psychiatric consultation before they attempted suicide in Japan.
Clinical records were used to identify 300 consecutive persons who were admitted to the hospital for attempting suicide between April 2006 and March 2013. We divided the patients into two groups. One group consisted of patients who consulted a psychiatrist before their suicidal behaviours (the consultation group), and the other group consisted of patients who had not consulted a psychiatrist before their suicidal behaviours (the non-consultation group). Group differences were analysed with respect to gender, age, method of suicide attempts, psychiatric diagnosis (ICD-10), and duration of hospitalisation in the emergency unit.
Females tended to be over-represented in the consultation group (73.0%), and males tended to be over-represented in the non-consultation group (59.8%). Poisoning by prescription drugs was used more frequently as a method of suicide in the consultation group than in the non-consultation group. Neuroticism and related disorders were higher in the non-consultation group (33.7%) than in the consultation group (18.9%). Mood disorders (32.6%) were nearly as common as neuroticism in the non-consultation group, and together they accounted for almost two-thirds of all diagnoses. Mood disorders were comparable between the consultation group (30.9%) and the non-consultation group (32.6%). Adult personality disorders (13.3%) and schizophrenia and related disorders (26.0%) were higher in the consultation group than in the non-consultation group.
Measures have to be taken to encourage people with these diverse characteristics to consult psychiatrists, and psychiatrists have to regularly evaluate patients for suicide risk. Furthermore, we need further research on the relationship between psychiatric consultation and poisoning by prescribed drugs.