Contributors to Suicidal Ideation Among Bipolar Patients With and Without a History of Suicide Attempts

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This study was designed to develop models for vulnerability to suicidal ideation in bipolar patients. Logistic regression models examined correlates of suicidal ideation in patients who had versus had not attempted suicide previously. Of 477 patients assessed, complete data on demographic, illness history, and personality variables were available on 243. The regression models achieved positive predictive values of 55% and 59% for the attempter (N = 92) and nonattempter groups (N = 151), respectively. Depression was cross-sectionally associated with suicidal ideation in both the attempter and nonattempter groups but made a smaller contribution among attempters. Poor psychosocial adaptation and the personality factor “openness” were stronger contributors to suicidal ideation among prior attempters while anxiety and extraversion appeared protective against ideation. Among nonattempters, depression, anxiety, and neuroticism were the predominant influences on suicidal ideation. Bipolar patients with suicidal ideation may benefit from different treatment strategies depending on their prior attempt status.

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