Mechanical ventilation as an indicator of somatic severity of self-poisoning: implications for psychiatric care and long-term outcomes

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Abstract

Background

Somatic severity of a self-poisoning episode varies widely between patients.

Aims

To determine the correlates (psychiatric profiles, long-term outcome) of mechanical ventilation used as a proxy to define somatic severity during a self-poisoning.

Method

All patients who required mechanical ventilation were pair-matched with ones who did not for age, gender and presence of psychiatric history. One year after the self-poisoning episode, patients were interviewed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and a quality-of-life assessment questionnaire (Short-Form 12 Health Survey).

Results

The ventilation group (n = 99) more frequently had mood disorders and less frequently had adjustment disorders (P = 0.007), with a higher depression score on the HADS (P = 0.01) than those in the non-ventilation group (n = 97). Survival curves showed lower survival in the ventilation group (P = 0.03).

Conclusions

Requirement for mechanical ventilation following self-poisoning is associated with a high prevalence of mood disorders and poor long-term outcome.

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