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Crisis. 2011;32(2):65-73. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000050.

The role of suicide risk in the decision for psychiatric hospitalization after a suicide attempt.

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  • 1Psychiatry Department, Autónoma University of Madrid, La Princesa University Hospital, Madrid, Spain.



Suicide prevention can be improved by knowing which variables physicians take into account when considering hospitalization or discharge of patients who have attempted suicide.


To test whether suicide risk is an adequate explanatory variable for predicting admission to a psychiatric unit after a suicide attempt.


Analyses of 840 clinical records of patients who had attempted suicide (66.3% women) at four public general hospitals in Madrid (Spain).


180 (21.4%) patients were admitted to psychiatric units. Logistic regression analyses showed that explanatory variables predicting admission were: male gender; previous psychiatric hospitalization; psychiatric disorder; not having a substance-related disorder; use of a lethal method; delay until discovery of more than one hour; previous attempts; suicidal ideation; high suicidal planning; and lack of verbalization of adequate criticism of the attempt.


Suicide risk appears to be an adequate explanatory variable for predicting the decision to admit a patient to a psychiatric ward after a suicide attempt, although the introduction of other variables improves the model. These results provide additional information regarding factors involved in everyday medical practice in emergency settings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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