Psychosocial and psychiatric characteristics of suicide completers with psychiatric treatment before death: A psychological autopsy study of 76 cases
Article first published online: 25 MAY 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences © 2012 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Volume 66, Issue 4, pages 292–302, June 2012
How to Cite
Hirokawa, S., Matsumoto, T., Katsumata, Y., Kitani, M., Akazawa, M., Takahashi, Y., Kawakami, N., Watanabe, N., Hirayama, M., Kameyama, A. and Takeshima, T. (2012), Psychosocial and psychiatric characteristics of suicide completers with psychiatric treatment before death: A psychological autopsy study of 76 cases. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 66: 292–302. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2012.02343.x
- Issue published online: 25 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 25 MAY 2012
- Received 28 December 2010; revised 24 January 2012; accepted 1 February 2012.
- psychiatric treatment;
- psychological autopsy;
- young adults
Aim: The present study was conducted to examine differences in psychosocial and psychiatric characteristics between suicide completers with and without a history of psychiatric treatment within the year before death, using a psychological autopsy method.
Methods: A semi-structured interview was administered by a psychiatrist and other mental health professionals for the closest bereaved of 76 suicide completers.
Results: Suicide completers with a history of psychiatric treatment (n = 38) were significantly younger than those without (n = 38) (P < 0.01), and a significantly higher proportion of cases in the treatment group were estimated to be suffering from schizophrenia. Further, in 57.9% of the treatment group, the fatal suicidal behavior involved overdose with prescribed psychotropic drugs. In addition, female suicide completers in the treatment group were more likely to have a history of self-harm or non-fatal suicidal behavior.
Conclusion: Many suicide completers who received psychiatric treatment were young adults. It was common for suicide completers to overdose on prescribed drugs as a supplementary means of suicide, and many experienced self-harming behavior before death. In addition, a higher proportion of the treatment cases suffered from schizophrenia.