Correlates of suicidal ideation among an elderly depressed sample.
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.
Lynch, TR; Johnson, CS; Mendelson, T; Robins, CJ; Ranga, K; Krishnan, R; Blazer, DG
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