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Crim Behav Ment Health. 2005;15(3):164-70.

Depression, hopelessness and suicide ideation among vulnerable prisoners.

Author information

1
Clinical Division of Psychiatry, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester General Hospital, Gwendolen Road, Leicester LE5 5PW, UK. ejp8@le.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Self-harm among prisoners is high, and suicide rates increasing. Assessment of depressive characteristics is easy. To what extent are these linked with previous self-harm?

AIMS:

To compare depressive characteristics of prisoners who report previous self-harm with those who do not.

METHODS:

Twenty-four new arrivals at an adult male category B local prison who reported previous episodes of suicidal behaviour (including self-harm and/or explicit attempted suicide) were assessed using the Beck Hopelessness Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, and the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation. A further 24 new arrivals were matched as closely as possible with them on sociodemographic and offending characteristics.

RESULTS:

Mean scores on the Beck Hopelessness Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, and the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation were significantly higher among the prisoners with a history of self-harm.

DISCUSSION:

Prisoners with a previous history of self-harm are more likely than those without to show a range of depressive symptoms than their imprisoned peers without such a history, suggesting a continued vulnerability to self-harm and perhaps suicide.

PMID:
16575794
DOI:
10.1002/cbm.4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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