Suicide in Patients Hospitalized for Schizophrenia: 1913-1940

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From a sample of 1357 schizophrenic patients hospitalized between 1913 and 1940 at the Phipps Clinic, we have follow-up data on 1212 (89%) cases, with a mean length of follow-up of 11 years. Of these 1212 patients, 28 (2%) are known to have committed suicide. Suicide was significantly correlated with 1) previous suicide attempts, 2) depressive symptoms, 3) preoccupation with suicide, 4) affective illness in close relatives, 5) poor premorbid social and work history, 6) sexual worries, and 7) psychomotor agitation. Marital status, gender, age at onset, age at admission, number of previous admissions, condition at discharge from Phipps, length of hospitalization, the presence of any type of delusions or hallucinations, alcohol problems, paranoid or catatonic features, and utilization of shock therapies were not significantly correlated with subsequent suicide. The seven variables significantly correlated with suicide enumerated above were chosen to construct a scale suggesting which patients were at high risk for suicide.

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