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Keywords:

  • suicidality;
  • depression;
  • panic disorder;
  • agoraphobia;
  • psychiatric hospitalization;
  • comorbidity

Abstract

Background: Previous research in outpatient samples suggests that panic and agoraphobic comorbidity is related to suicidality in outpatients with major depression. The purpose of the study was to further investigate this relationship specifically in a hospitalized sample. Method: This study examined the severity of current suicidal ideation and behaviors in a psychiatric hospital sample diagnosed with major depressive disorder alone (MDD; n=28) versus MDD plus panic-agoraphobic spectrum disorders (MDD+PAS; n=69). Results: Members of the MDD+PAS group were significantly more likely to have had a suicide attempt history, higher current depression severity, and higher current suicidal severity compared with individuals in the MDD alone group. The relationship between the current suicidality and comorbid PAS remained significant after controlling for the overall depression severity and other clinical factors. Conclusions: These findings suggest that panic-agoraphobic comorbidity is associated with a greater risk for suicidality in hospitalized patients, which cannot be adequately explained by the level of current depression alone. The clinical and research implications for these findings are discussed. Depression and Anxiety, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.