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Brain Inj. 2007 Dec;21(13-14):1335-51.

Suicidality in people surviving a traumatic brain injury: prevalence, risk factors and implications for clinical management.

Author information

  • 1Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit, Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, Australia. grahame.simpson@sswahs.nsw.gov.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A systematic search was conducted of the literature addressing suicidality after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Results from population-based studies found that people with TBI have an increased risk of death by suicide (3-4 times greater than for the general population), as well as significantly higher levels of suicide attempts and suicide ideation. Clinical studies have also reported high levels of suicide attempts (18%) and clinically significant suicide ideation (21-22%) in TBI samples.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

In reviewing risk factors, two prognostic studies using multivariate analysis were identified. Adjusted risk statistics from these studies found an elevated risk of suicide for people with severe TBI in comparison to concussion (hazard ratio 1.4, 95% CI 1.15-1.75) and an elevated risk of suicide attempts among people displaying post-injury suicide ideation (adjusted odds ratio 4.9, 95% CI 1.79-13.17) and psychiatric/emotional distress (adjusted odds ratio 7.8, 95% CI 2.11-29.04).

CONCLUSIONS:

To date, little evidence exists for the role of pre-morbid psychopathology, neuropathology, neuropsychological impairments or post-injury psychosocial factors as major risk factors for post-injury suicidality. Finally, there has been little empirical examination of approaches to suicide prevention. Therefore, current best practice is based on clinical judgement and the untested extrapolation of prevention approaches from other clinical populations.

PMID:
18066936
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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