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J Psychosom Res. 2014 Apr;76(4):312-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.12.010. Epub 2014 Jan 2.

Prevalence and risk factors for suicidal ideation in a multiple sclerosis population.

Author information

1
Department of Community Health Sciences and Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.
2
Department of Community Health Sciences and Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada; Department of Psychiatry and Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada. Electronic address: patten@ucalgary.ca.
3
Department of Community Health Sciences and Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada; Department of Psychiatry and Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the prevalence, incidence and determinants of suicidal ideation in the multiple sclerosis (MS) population.

METHODS:

A sample of 188 subjects were randomly selected from a community-based MS clinic registry and participated in as many as 13 interviews over 6 months. Thoughts of "being better off dead" or of "harming oneself" were assessed using item 9 on the Patient Health Questionnaire, Brief (PHQ-9).

RESULTS:

At baseline, the 2-week period prevalence of suicidal ideation was 8.3%. Over the course of 6 months, 22.1% of respondents reported having such thoughts at least once. Survival analysis incorporating baseline PHQ-8 scores as a covariate confirmed that being age 65 and over (HR=4.3, 95% CI 1.7-11.3) and having lower quartile self-efficacy ratings (HR=3.5, 95% CI 1.5-8.2) predicted suicidal ideation. Lower levels of task-oriented coping (treated as a continuous variable) also predicted suicidal ideation after adjustment for depressive symptoms (p=0.015), as did self-reported bladder or bowel symptoms (HR=2.6, 95% CI 1.1-6.0) and difficulties with speaking and swallowing (HR=2.9, 95% CI 1.3-6.8). Associations with MS symptoms were not confounded by depressive symptoms.

CONCLUSION:

This study identified several potentially modifiable factors that may be useful for preventing suicide in people with MS.

KEYWORDS:

Coping; Depression; Longitudinal studies; Multiple sclerosis; Suicidal ideation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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