Suicide in recently admitted psychiatric in-patients: A case-control study

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Clinical care, Research summaries | 0 comments

Hunt et al, 2013

In this case-control study, we examined risk factors associated with suicide during the first week of admission to psychiatric in-patient care.

107 psychiatric in-patients in England who died by suicide within a week of admission were matched with living controls. 40% of suicide deaths occurred within the first three days of admission. 34% of all suicide deaths were in in-patients who were off the ward without staff agreement (compared to 1% of controls); a fifth were in in-patients who were on authorised leave.

Risk factors for suicide among in-patients within a week of admission included previous self-harm, recent adverse life events and a short illness duration.

Services should increase care and vigilance of newly admitted and vulnerable patients and be aware of circumstances outside of services. Careful risk evaluation and greater control of ward exits to prevent absconding may reduce in-patient suicide rates.

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