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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012 Aug;20(8):717-23. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e31822ccd79.

Family connectedness moderates the association between living alone and suicide ideation in a clinical sample of adults 50 years and older.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, The University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate whether living alone is significantly associated with expression of suicide ideation among mood-disordered mental health patients and whether degree of family connectedness moderates the association between living alone and expression of suicide ideation.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional survey design.

SETTING:

Inpatient and outpatient mental health services in Rochester, New York.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 130-mood-disordered inpatients and outpatients 50 years and older.

MEASUREMENTS:

Patients completed a demographics form, an interviewer-rated measure of current suicide ideation (Scale for Suicide Ideation), and a self-report measure of family connectedness derived from the Reasons for Living Scale-Older Adult version.

RESULTS:

Patients who reported greater family connectedness were significantly less likely to report suicide ideation; this protective effect was strongest for those living with others (Wald χ(2)[df = 1] = 3.987, p = 0.046, OR = 0.905; 95% CI = 0.821-0.998). A significant main effect of family connectedness on suicide ideation suggested that having a stronger connection to family members decreased the likelihood of reporting suicide ideation (Wald χ(2)[df = 1] = 9.730, p = 0.002, OR = 0.852; 95% CI = 0.771-0.942).

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest potential value in assessing the quality of interpersonal relationships when conducting a suicide risk assessment among depressed middle-aged and older adults.

PMID:
22048322
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3276748
Free PMC Article
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