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Risk of suicide and suicidal ideation in psychosis: Results from an Italian multi-modal pilot program on early intervention in psychosis

Authors
Journal
Schizophrenia Research
0920-9964
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
113
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2009.06.007
Keywords
  • Psychosis
  • Suicide
  • Prevention
  • Duration Of Untreated Psychosis
  • Early Detection Of Psychosis
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Suicidality is high in schizophrenia, particularly in first-episode patients. Little is known about patients with prodromal symptoms of psychosis or otherwise high-risk persons. In a sample enrolled in an early intervention program implemented in Milan (Italy), a history of attempted suicide before enrollment was found in 6 first-episode schizophrenia (out of 87, 6.9%), and 7 high-risk of psychosis (out of 81, 8.6%) patients. In the first-episode group, a history of suicide attempts was related to a shorter duration of untreated psychosis. In the high-risk group, a family psychiatric history in first/second degree relatives of patients and a personal history of substance abuse were both associated with an enhanced risk of attempted suicide before enrollment. During the first year of treatment, 3 new attempted suicides were recorded among 57 (5.3%) high-risk patients, and none among first-episode patients ( n = 58) (no dropout in the sample). The levels of suicide ideation on the BPRS did not differ by group at assessment, and significantly declined from assessment at entry to 1-year follow-up, except in seven HRP patients who become positive for core symptoms of schizophrenia, as measured on the BPRS. At enrollment, patients at high risk of psychosis had the same prevalence of past suicide attempts than first-episode schizophrenia patients: since suicide attempt is the most important predictor of a future suicidal attempt, the assessment of suicide risk should be given a privileged role in patients at high risk of psychosis as well.

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