Non-suicidal self-injury attempted suicide, and suicidal intent among psychiatric inpatients

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self-mutilation, deliberate self-harm, self-injurious behavior, suicidal ideation


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Although attempted suicide and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) differ in several important ways, a significant number of individuals report histories of both behaviors. The current study further examined the relations between NSSI and attempted suicide among psychiatric inpatients. Self-report questionnaires were administered to 117 psychiatric inpatients at a general hospital (M=39.45 years old, S.D.=12.84 years, range=17–73 years). We found that presence and number of NSSI episodes were significantly related to presence and number of suicide attempts. Supporting the importance of NSSI assessment, patients' history of NSSI (presence and frequency) was more strongly associated with history of suicide attempts than were patients' depressive symptoms, hopelessness, and symptoms of borderline personality disorder, and as strongly associated with suicide attempt history as current levels of suicidal ideation. Finally, among patients with a history of suicide attempts, those with an NSSI history reported significantly greater lethal intent for their most severe attempt, and patients' number of prior NSSI episodes was positively correlated with the level of lethal intent associated with their most severe suicide attempt.

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