Gender differences in suicidal behaviour in patients with first-episode psychosis

Authors

  • Gudrun Austad,

    Corresponding author
    1. Psychiatric Division, Regional Centre for Clinical Research in Psychosis, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway
    2. Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
    • Corresponding author: Mrs Gudrun Austad, Nordlysbraatet 7D, Stavanger 4016, Norway. Email: gau@sus.no

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  • Inge Joa,

    1. Psychiatric Division, Regional Centre for Clinical Research in Psychosis, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway
    2. Resource Centre for Violence, Traumatic Stress and Suicide Prevention, Western Norway (RVTS West), Haukeland University, Bergen, Norway
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  • Jan Olav Johannessen,

    1. Psychiatric Division, Regional Centre for Clinical Research in Psychosis, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway
    2. Resource Centre for Violence, Traumatic Stress and Suicide Prevention, Western Norway (RVTS West), Haukeland University, Bergen, Norway
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  • Tor Ketil Larsen

    1. Psychiatric Division, Regional Centre for Clinical Research in Psychosis, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway
    2. Institute of Psychiatry, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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Abstract

Aim

Prior research shows contradictory gender patterns in suicidal behaviour among patients with first-episode psychosis. The aim of this study was to investigate gender differences in the prevalence of suicidal behaviour (suicidal ideation, suicide plans and suicide attempts) and to delineate risk factors for suicidal behaviour among consecutively included male and female patients with first-episode psychosis in the TIPS II early detection study.

Methods

Patients with first-episode psychosis (n = 246) from a hospital catchment area with a system for early detection were assessed and compared on baseline sociodemographical and clinical variables according to gender. Current (past 1 month) and lifetime prevalence of suicidal behaviour were assessed.

Results

Current and lifetime rates of suicidal behaviour were high (50.8% and 65.9%, respectively) and higher among females (lifetime: 78.3 %, past month: 64.2 %) versus males (lifetime: 56.4 %, past month: 40.7 %). Depressive symptoms and female gender were associated with both lifetime and current risk for suicidal behaviour. Lifetime prevalence was also associated with a longer duration of untreated psychosis and young age after controlling for other risk factors.

Conclusions

Suicidal behaviour was frequent among patients with first-episode psychosis, with a higher prevalence of suicidal behaviour in females. Depressive symptoms and female gender were significantly associated with suicidal behaviour.

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