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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2005 Oct;193(10):680-5.

Clinical features of suicide attempts after traumatic brain injury.

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  • 1Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit, Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, Australia.


This study documents demographic, clinical and temporal parameters for suicide attempts after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Clinical interviews and a medical file review were conducted with an outpatient sample (N = 172), identifying 45 clients (26.2%) who had collectively made a lifetime total of 80 suicide attempts. Data were collected on postinjury psychopathology, current hopelessness, and suicide ideation, as well as historical data about the attempts. The sample (N = 43, missing data N = 2) had a lifetime prevalence of 1.86 attempts, with 19 clients (44.2%) making repeat attempts. The majority (70%) of the attempts were made postinjury. Medical attention was provided in 60.7% of attempts. The odds ratio found that respondents with a comorbid postinjury history of psychiatric/emotional disturbance and substance abuse were 21 times more likely to have made an attempt post-TBI compared with respondents with no such history. The findings can inform suicide prevention initiatives among people with TBI.

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