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Suicidal children and adolescents with first emergency room presentations: predictors of six-month outcome.

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  • 1University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine risk of future documented suicide attempts and emergency room (ER) returns among children and adolescents with first suicidal ER presentations.

METHOD:

A total of 548 consecutive ER presentations of suicidal 5- to 19-year-olds to a Canadian center over a 1-year period (1997-1998) were reviewed. Relative risk analyses were performed on 224 first-time patients (mean age 14.6+/-2.1) to determine the strength of associations between predictors and outcomes (ER return and suicide attempts).

RESULTS:

At 6-month follow-up, 32.6% (n = 73) had returned to the ER, 24.1% (n = 54) had a documented suicide attempt, and 14.3% (n = 32) required psychiatric hospitalization. Predictors for both ER return and future documented suicide attempts included 15- to 19-year age range, past foster/group home placement, past mental health care, a suicide plan, reported mood symptoms, sobriety at ER visit, and general substance use. Child welfare guardianship and abuse history were also predictors of ER returns.

CONCLUSIONS:

Clinicians should be aware of these risk factors when assessing and managing suicidal youths with first ER presentations.

PMID:
11349703
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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