Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

Article   |    
The impact of hospitalization on clinical assessments of suicide risk
Psychiatric Services 1997; doi:
text A A A
PDF of the full text article.


OBJECTIVE: Clinicians' assessments of patients' suicide risk at admission to and discharge from a psychiatric hospital were examined to learn how clinical estimates of risk changed over the course of hospitalization and to identify which demographic and clinical characteristics were associated with higher estimates of risk at admission and discharge. METHODS: Seventy-one treating physicians evaluated risk of self-harm of 241 patients at admission to and discharge from a short-term inpatient unit. Risk within the next week (short-term risk) and within the next year (long-term risk) was estimated. At discharge and admission, the physicians also rated patients' symptoms using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Nurses rated self-directed aggression during hospitalization with the Overt Aggression Scale. RESULTS: Ratings of short-term risk were lower at discharge than at admission, whereas ratings of long-term risk showed relatively little change. At both discharge and admission, the estimated risk of self-harm was associated with a history of suicidal behavior and with acute symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and emotional withdrawal. At discharge, the estimated risk was also associated with substance abuse, severity of psychosocial stressors, and living alone. CONCLUSIONS: Clinicians appeared to view their hospital-based interventions as influencing variables relevant to short- term risk of suicide but as having little impact on long-term risk. Implications are discussed for management of suicide risk and for medicolegal assertions regarding prevailing community practices that are made in litigation alleging negligent release of patients from hospitals.

Abstract Teaser
Figures in this Article




CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe

Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Related Content
DSM-5™ Clinical Cases > Chapter 4.  >
DSM-5™ Clinical Cases > Chapter 5.  >
DSM-5™ Clinical Cases > Chapter 4.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry, 5th Edition > Chapter 3.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry, 5th Edition > Chapter 43.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News
APA Guidelines
PubMed Articles