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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 221-227

Assessment of lethality and its clinical correlates in suicide attempters with mood disorders

1 Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, IHBAS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Raman Deep
Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_251_21

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Background: Relatively limited literature is available on lethality assessment for suicide attempts in affective disorders from the Indian subcontinent. Aims: To assess the lethality and its clinical correlates in lifetime suicide attempters with mood disorders. Methods: A total of 100 lifetime suicide attempters, aged ≥18 years, with a DSM-5 diagnosis of bipolar disorder (BD) or major depressive disorder—recurrent (MDD-R) were recruited. Current euthymia was ascertained (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) ≤7; Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) ≤4). Assessments were conducted using clinical pro forma, Risk–Rescue Rating Scale (RRRS), Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) and Barratt's Impulsiveness Scale (BIS). Results: Average age of the sample was 36.32 ± 11.76 years (48% males, 52% females). The mean duration of affective illness was 10.59 ± 8.32 years. Risk–rescue scores for lethality were significantly higher in males (vs females), bipolar disorder (vs unipolar), multiple attempters (vs single) and planned (vs unplanned) attempters. Risk–rescue score also showed a significant positive correlation with lifetime total and depressive episodes, and intensity of ideations, and a significant negative correlation with BIS—attention impulsiveness. Regression analysis [F (3,96) = 12.196, P < 0.001, adjusted R2 = 0.253] found that lifetime lithium prescription, intensity of suicidal ideations and attention impulsiveness explained 25.3% variance in lethality. Conclusion: Absence of lifetime lithium, higher intensity of suicidal ideations and lower attentional impulsiveness predicted higher lethality of suicide attempts. Lethality of suicide attempts was found to be associated with a multitude of clinical factors, notably male gender, bipolarity, multiple attempts, planned attempts and number of total and depressive episodes. Assessment of lethality and its correlates can help to plan strategies towards risk prevention in mood disorders.

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