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Schizophr Res. 2014 Aug;157(1-3):12-8. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2014.06.009. Epub 2014 Jun 27.

The relationships of suicidal ideation with symptoms, neurocognitive function, and psychological factors in patients with first-episode psychosis.

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Department of Psychiatry, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. Electronic address:
Department of Psychiatry, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
Department of Psychiatry, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong; State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.



Individuals with first-episode psychosis (FEP) have markedly elevated risk for suicide. Previous research on suicidality in early psychosis mainly focused on attempted and completed suicide. Data regarding risk factors for suicidal ideation, which is a common antecedent and predictor of suicide attempt, were limited. This study aimed to examine the prevalence of suicidal ideation and its relationships with clinical, neurocognitive and psychological factors in FEP patients.


Eighty-nine Chinese patients aged 15 to 25years presenting with FEP to specialized early intervention service were recruited. A comprehensive set of assessments examining pre-treatment illness characteristics, symptom severity, neurocognitive function, and psychological factors were administered. Current suicidal ideation and history of suicide attempt were systematically evaluated.


Approximately 42% of patients expressed suicidal ideation after service entry. Univariate regression analyses found that suicidal ideation was significantly associated with past suicide attempt, depressive symptoms, emotion expressivity, hopelessness, future expectation, attentional impulsiveness, internal and external locus of control, and the likelihood of endorsing fear of social approval and survival and coping beliefs as reasons for living. Final multivariate model showed that previous suicide attempt, depression, less severe diminished expression, greater degree of hopelessness and lower level of internal locus of control independently predicted suicidal ideation.


Suicidal ideation was prevalent in FEP patients. Our findings implied that close monitoring and prompt intervention of those potentially modifiable risk factors for suicidal ideation including depression, hopelessness and perceived inadequate personal control may reduce suicide risk in the early course of psychotic illness.


Depression; First-episode psychosis; Hopelessness; Negative symptoms; Suicidal ideation

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