Behind impulsive suicide attempts: Indications from a community study

Wyder, Marianne and De Leo, Diego (2007) Behind impulsive suicide attempts: Indications from a community study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 104 1-3: 167-173. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2007.02.015


Author Wyder, Marianne
De Leo, Diego
Title Behind impulsive suicide attempts: Indications from a community study
Journal name Journal of Affective Disorders   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0165-0327
1573-2517
Publication date 2007-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jad.2007.02.015
Volume 104
Issue 1-3
Start page 167
End page 173
Total pages 7
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Formatted abstract Aim: A considerable proportion of suicide attempts are made on impulse. However, knowledge of characteristics of impulsive attempters is still limited. The present study investigated some of these characteristics and aimed to identify the pattern (if any) of suicidal ideation before an impulsive attempt.
Methods: Data from a randomized and stratified population of 5130 individuals from Brisbane, Australia, were analysed. Computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) were adopted to recruit subjects. Those reporting previous suicidal behaviour were sent a questionnaire by mail.
Results: One hundred and twelve subjects reported a suicide attempt. One quarter of these described a pattern consistent with an impulsive attempt. Most impulsive attempters experienced suicidal thoughts before their attempt. They were less likely to believe that their attempt would cause death, and less likely to experience depression. Impulsive attempters did not differ significantly from non-impulsive attempters in regards to age, gender, and motivations for the attempt. Surprisingly, no differences in mean scores of trait impulsivity between impulsive and non-impulsive attempters were found. In addition, the majority of suicide attempters (whether impulsive or not) experienced the suicidal process as fluctuating and not as developing along a continuum.
Limitations: The number of attempters who validly entered the study limited our ability to identify potential confounders. Due to the retrospective nature of the survey, the reliability of the information collected may have been affected by recall biases. In addition, as the surveys were administered by mail, it is possible that some questions may have been misinterpreted.
Conclusions: The presence of suicidal feelings prior to an attempt constitutes an opportunity for intervention also in impulsive attempters. However, the identification of impulsiveness requires more research efforts.
Keyword Community survey
Suicide attempts
Impulsiveness
Impulsive personality traits
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Published under Brief reports

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: ERA 2012 Admin Only
School of Social Science Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 17 Oct 2011, 13:42:31 EST by Dr Marianne Wyder on behalf of School of Social Science