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Schizophrenia and suicide: Systematic review of risk factors

  • Keith Hawton (a1), Lesley Sutton (a2), Camilla Haw (a1), Julia Sinclair (a3) and Jonathan J. Deeks (a3)...
Abstract
Background

Suicide risk is greatly increased in schizophrenia. Detection of those at risk is clinically important.

Aims

To identify risk factors for suicide in schizophrenia.

Method

The international literature on case-control and cohort studies of patients with schizophrenia or related conditions in which suicide was reported as an outcome was systematically reviewed. Studies were identified through searching electronic databases and reference lists, and by consulting experts.

Results

Twenty-nine eligible studies were identified. Factors with robust evidence of increased risk of suicide were previous depressive disorders (OR=3.03, 95% CI 2.06–4.46), previous suicide attempts (OR=4.09, 95% CI 2.79–6.01), drug misuse (OR=3.21, 95% CI 1.99–5.17), agitation or motor restlessness (OR=2.61, 95% CI 1.54–4.41), fear of mental disintegration (OR=12.1, 95% CI 1.89–81.3), poor adherence to treatment (OR=3.75, 95% CI 2.20–6.37) and recent loss (OR=4.03, 95% CI 1.37–11.8). Reduced risk was associated with hallucinations (OR=0.50, 95% CI 0.35–0.71).

Conclusions

Prevention of suicide in schizophrenia is likely to result from treatment of affective symptoms, improving adherence to treatment, and maintaining special vigilance in patients with risk factors, especially after losses.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor Keith Hawton, Centre for Suicide Research, University of Oxford, Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK. E-mail: keith.hawton@psychiatry.ox.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
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Schizophrenia and suicide: Systematic review of risk factors

  • Keith Hawton (a1), Lesley Sutton (a2), Camilla Haw (a1), Julia Sinclair (a3) and Jonathan J. Deeks (a3)...
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