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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 May;94(5):863-6. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.11.044. Epub 2012 Dec 19.

Is pain associated with suicidality in stroke?

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.



To evaluate the relation between poststroke pain and suicidality (SI) in Chinese patients with first or recurrent stroke.


Cross-sectional survey.


Acute stroke unit of a university-affiliated general hospital.


Patients (N=496) with acute ischemic stroke admitted to the Acute Stroke Unit.


Not applicable.


Patients were interviewed 3 months after the index stroke. SI was assessed with the Geriatric Mental State Examination. Pain was evaluated with the Faces Pain Rating Scale-Revised (FPS-R). The association between FPS-R scores and SI was examined and adjusted for potential confounders, including marital status, depression, neurologic deficits assessed by the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale, and functioning measured by the Barthel Index.


Thirty-seven (7.5%) of the patients had SI (the SI group). Compared with the non-SI group, patients in the SI group were more likely to experience pain (59.5% vs 37.7%), had a higher mean FPS-R score (6.0±2.5 vs 4.5±2.3), and had an FPS-R score of >4 (43.2% vs 15.9%). After adjustment for possible confounders, the FPS-R score of >4 (odds ratio=2.9) remained a significant predictor of SI in the subsequent forward logistic regression models.


These findings should alert clinicians that the early identification and treatment of pain may reduce suicide risk in patients with stroke.

Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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