Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Affect Disord. 2007 Dec;104(1-3):167-73. Epub 2007 Mar 29.

Behind impulsive suicide attempts: indications from a community study.

Author information

  • 1Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland 4111, Australia.

Abstract

AIM:

A considerable proportion of suicide attempts are made on impulse. However, knowledge of characteristics of impulsive attempters is still limited. The present study investigated some of these characteristics and aimed to identify the pattern (if any) of suicidal ideation before an impulsive attempt.

METHODS:

Data from a randomized and stratified population of 5130 individuals from Brisbane, Australia, were analysed. Computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) were adopted to recruit subjects. Those reporting previous suicidal behaviour were sent a questionnaire by mail.

RESULTS:

One hundred and twelve subjects reported a suicide attempt. One quarter of these described a pattern consistent with an impulsive attempt. Most impulsive attempters experienced suicidal thoughts before their attempt. They were less likely to believe that their attempt would cause death, and less likely to experience depression. Impulsive attempters did not differ significantly from non-impulsive attempters in regards to age, gender, and motivations for the attempt. Surprisingly, no differences in mean scores of trait impulsivity between impulsive and non-impulsive attempters were found. In addition, the majority of suicide attempters (whether impulsive or not) experienced the suicidal process as fluctuating and not as developing along a continuum.

LIMITATIONS:

The number of attempters who validly entered the study limited our ability to identify potential confounders. Due to the retrospective nature of the survey, the reliability of the information collected may have been affected by recall biases. In addition, as the surveys were administered by mail, it is possible that some questions may have been misinterpreted.

CONCLUSIONS:

The presence of suicidal feelings prior to an attempt constitutes an opportunity for intervention also in impulsive attempters. However, the identification of impulsiveness requires more research efforts.

PMID:
17397934
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk