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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2004 Jun;39(6):497-501.

Hopelessness, depression, substance disorder, and suicidality--a 13-year community-based study.

Author information

1
Dept. of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA. Kuo@ndri.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Most earlier studies of hopelessness as a risk factor for suicidal behavior were based on either clinical or restricted samples. Using a longitudinal study design with a community sample of more than 3,000 participants, we aimed to examine if hopelessness was a long-term predictor of suicidal behaviors.

METHODS:

Using longitudinal data from the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) Program, we assessed the association of hopelessness at baseline and incident suicidal behaviors in the 13-year follow-up period, adjusting for the presence of depression and substance use disorders. Suicide behaviors studied included completed suicide, self-reported attempted suicide, and suicide ideation.

RESULTS:

Hopelessness was predictive of all three types of suicidal behaviors in the follow-up period, even after adjustment. Persons who expressed hopelessness in 1981 were 11.2 times as likely to have completed suicide over the 13-year follow-up interval (95% confidence interval [1.8, 69.1]). The association between suicidality and hopelessness was stronger and more stable than the association of suicidality with the presence of depression and substance use disorders.

CONCLUSION:

Hopelessness was an independent risk factor for completed suicide, suicide attempts, and suicidal ideation. Intervention strategies that lower hopelessness may be effective for suicide prevention.

PMID:
15205735
DOI:
10.1007/s00127-004-0775-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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