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Psychiatr Serv. 1995 Oct;46(10):1069-71.

Suicidal behavior among patients in the VA health care system.

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  • 1Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC 20420, USA.


A total of 167 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers responded to a survey that sought information on suicidal behavior during a one-year period among patients in inpatient or outpatient treatment. Of 248 completed suicides during the period, about 60 percent occurred among patients in outpatient mental health treatment. The incidence of anxiety disorder diagnoses (17.7 percent), particularly posttraumatic stress disorder, among patients who completed suicide was much higher than that reported for persons who completed suicide in the general population. Many patients with psychiatric diagnoses who completed suicide had comorbid substance abuse diagnoses.

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