Correlates of suicidal ideation among an elderly depressed sample.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Suicidal ideation has been shown to be strongly associated with suicide completion and elders take their own lives more than any other age group. METHODS: The present study examined clinical and phenomenological correlates of suicidal ideation among an elderly sample (n = 167) derived from subjects enrolled in the Duke Clinical Research Center for the Study of Depression in Late Life. RESULTS: Bivariate results indicated that clinical variables associated with psychomotor retardation, a history of dysthymia, a previous psychiatric in-patient stay, and being a 'younger' elder were related to greater suicidal ideation. Multivariate analyses indicated that feeling guilty, sinful, or worthless was associated with over six times greater odds of having suicidal thoughts. LIMITATIONS: Findings are based on correlational analyses, and thus, the direction of causality cannot be inferred. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence for clinicians of some of the 'red flags' associated with the presence of suicidal ideation among depressed older adults.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lynch, TR; Johnson, CS; Mendelson, T; Robins, CJ; Ranga, K; Krishnan, R; Blazer, DG

Published Date

  • November 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 56 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 9 - 15

PubMed ID

  • 10626775

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0165-0327

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0165-0327(99)00022-1


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands