Psychiatric diagnoses of previous suicide attempters, first-time attempters, and repeat attempters on an adolescent inpatient psychiatry unit.
OBJECTIVE: To compare psychiatric diagnoses of hospitalized adolescents who (a) have made previous but no recent suicide attempts, (b) have recently made their first suicide attempt, (c) have recently made a second or subsequent attempt, or (d) have never made an attempt. METHOD: Semistructured psychiatric diagnostic interviews were used to determine psychiatric diagnoses and history of recent and previous suicidal behavior of 269 consecutively admitted adolescents to an inpatient psychiatric facility. Forty-nine previously suicidal youths, 28 first-time attempters, and 33 repeat attempters were compared with 159 nonsuicidal youths in prevalence of Axis I psychiatric disorders and psychiatric comorbidity with affective disorder. RESULTS: Previous attempters and repeat attempters both reported more affective disorders, whereas first-time attempters reported more adjustment disorders than nonsuicidal youths. Previous attempters and nonsuicidal youths reported the most externalizing disorders. CONCLUSIONS: Previous attempters on an inpatient unit have multiple psychiatric problems. Like repeat attempters, they often are depressed, but like nonsuicidal youths, they also exhibit significant externalizing behaviors. Interventions with these adolescents should focus not only on immediate presenting problems, but also on ameliorating their long-term risk of posthospitalization suicidal behavior.
Goldston, DB; Daniel, SS; Reboussin, BA; Reboussin, DM; Kelley, AE; Frazier, PH
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