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Suicides during 7 years among a catchment area cohort of patients with psychoses
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Forensic Medicine.
2012 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, ISSN 0803-9488, E-ISSN 1502-4725, Vol. 66, no 1, 8-13 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: To investigate a series of consecutive suicides at a psychosis clinic by using a psychological autopsy technique. Method: The clinic serves an adult population of 225,000 individuals, of whom 0.5% have regular contact with the clinic. During a 7 1/2-year period, 23 men and nine women committed suicide, which corresponds to an odds ratio of 14. Results: Most patients were schizophrenic, and 24 were outpatients. Suicide methods were violent in all but two cases. Nineteen had a history of at least one suicide attempt, and 24 were known to have had suicidal ideation. More than half had no social contacts over the last year except with psychiatric staff. The median time between the last contact with the psychiatric services and the suicide was 4 days. No warning signs were noted. At the time of death, 3 of the 24 who were prescribed antipsychotics, and none of the 10 who were prescribed antidepressants had plasma levels of the corresponding drug. Conclusion: Findings of special interest are the lack of forewarnings and the poor drug compliance. Patients appear to have played "business as usual" with the care-givers, and did it well. Is it a sign of health and despair, or illness?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 66, no 1, 8-13 p.
Keyword [en]
Antipsychotic drugs, Compliance, Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Suicide
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-168076DOI: 10.3109/08039488.2011.577186ISI: 000298965100003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-168076DiVA: diva2:495759
Available from: 2012-02-09 Created: 2012-02-06 Last updated: 2012-02-09Bibliographically approved

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