APA 2018—Length of inpatient stay predicts risk for suicide in psychiatric inpatients


  • Conference Reports
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Takeaway

  • Risk profiles for suicide during an inpatient stay and suicide postdischarge are distinct.
  • Length of stay was the strongest negative predictor of suicide risk.

Why this matters

  • Optimizing inpatient length of stay may positively influence rates of inpatient and postdischarge suicide.

Key results

  • Male sex and having an affective disorder were significantly associated with elevated risk for inpatient suicide, whereas age >65 years predicted lower inpatient suicide risk.
  • Risk for suicide during inpatient stay and in the 3 months postdischarge decreased dose dependently with increasing length of inpatient stay.

Study design

  • Researchers at National Taiwan University and their colleagues investigated risk factors associated with suicide in patients 15 years old or older who were admitted to a psychiatric inpatient unit in Taiwan.
  • Data from 2002 to 2012 were obtained from a National Health Insurance Database (Taiwan) on patients who committed suicide during their inpatient stay (n=176) and those who committed suicide within 3 months of discharge (n=1255).
  • Funding: Ministry of Science and Technology (Taiwan).

Limitations

  • This was an observational study with relatively few patients enrolled.