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October 2021

In-patient suicide in psychiatric hospitals

Author(s): DeCol, C., Honeder, M., Hinterhuber, H., Fleischhacker, W. W.

Journal/Book: Acta Psychiat Scand. 2000; 102: 35 Norre Sogade, PO Box 2148, Dk-1016 Copenhagen, Denmark. Munksgaard Int Publ Ltd. 290-294.

Abstract: Objective: In-patient suicides continue to be a matter of concern in hospital psychiatry. In-patients at risk for suicide need to be identified. Method: In-patient suicides in two psychiatric hospitals were assessed over a time-span of 8 years. Cases were detected by comparing police suicide data with the hospitals' admission and discharge records. Further information was then gathered from patients' records. Results: During the period under investigation 44 in-patients committed suicide, the majority of them being diagnosed with affective disorders (45.4%) or schizophrenia (27.3%). The most commonly used method was 'jumping in front of a vehicle' (34.1%); 79.5% were treated in an open ward at the time of their suicide, 15.9% in a locked unit. The majority of open ward suicides happened outside the hospital; 39.4% of patients had left the ward without giving notice. Conclusion: Additional cautionary measures are warranted especially for patients in open wards.

Note: Article Deisenhammer EA, Innsbruck Univ, Dept Psychiat, Anichstr 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, AUSTRIA

Keyword(s): suicide; risk; in-patient; prevention; involuntary commitment; hospitalization; SHORT-TERM RISK; INPATIENT SUICIDE; PSYCHOLOGICAL AUTOPSY; COMPLETED SUICIDE; MENTAL-DISORDERS; STANDARDS; IDEATION; VICTIMS; CARE; AGE

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