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Article   |    
Characteristics of Outpatient Suicides
Kathleen A. Earle; Sandra L. Forquer; Alfred M. Volo; Patricia M. McDonnell
Psychiatric Services 1994; doi:
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New York State Office of Mental Health, 44 Holland Avenue, Albany, New York 12229

1994 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Objective: To help identify outpatients who may be at risk for suicide, the authors used data from psychological autopsies of completed suicides to develop a profile of the clinical and demographic characteristics of suicidal patients. Methods: Ninety-three outpatient suicides committed between April 1, 1988, and August 31, 1991, by patients in programs operated by the New York State Office of Mental Health were analyzed. Results: Persons who committed suicide were younger than other outpatients and more likely to be African American and to have a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia. Physical health problems were reported for more than half of the persons who committed suicide. Males and females differed in marital status at the time of deatb and in methods used to commit suicide. According to their therapists, 73 percent of the patients who committed suicide did not express suicidal ideation or intent, and more than 30 percent were reluctant to accept treatment. Conclusions: ln treating outpatients who match the profile of the suicidal patient, clinicians should be alerted that lack of suicidal ideation does not eliminate the risk of suicide, especially among patients who are noncompliant with treatment.

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outpatients ; suicide
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