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Suicidal and Self-Harm Behaviors in Chronic Pain Patients


Akiko Okifuji, Pain Research and Management Center, 615 Arapeen Drive, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA. E-mail:


The objective of this study was to evaluate past suicidal attempt, history of self-harm, and current suicidal ideation in chronic pain patients. Based upon the review of 260 psychological evaluation reports at a university-based multidisciplinary pain center, we found that 25% reported at least one suicidal attempt or self-harming incident. Current suicidal ideation was reported by 23%. The history of childhood abuse was more common in those with a history of self-harm. Current suicidal ideation was associated with current diagnoses of mood and anxiety disorders. The analyses showed suicidal behaviors and self-harm behaviors are differentially associated with the trauma history. The assessment of self-harm as an independent concept for the risk management of chronic pain patients may be important.