Psychotic symptoms in adolescents with psychopathology were associated with a higher risk for suicide attempts in a study published by Ian Kelleher, M.D., Ph.D., of the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland, colleagues.
The researchers studied 1,112 school-based adolescents (ages 13 to 16 years) to assess psychotic symptoms as a clinical marker of risk for suicide attempt. Of the adolescents, 7 percent (n=77 study participants) reported psychotic symptoms at baseline. Of that subsample, 7 percent (n=4) reported a suicide attempt by the 3-month follow-up compared with 1 percent (n=12) of the rest of the sample and 20 percent (n=9) reported a suicide attempt by the 12-month follow-up compared with 2.5 percent (n=23) of the rest of the sample, according to the study results.
The results also indicate that among adolescents with baseline psychopathology who reported psychotic symptoms, 14 percent (n=4) reported a suicide attempt by three months and 34 percent (n=11) reported a suicide attempt by 12 months.
“Adolescents with psychopathology who report psychotic symptoms are at clinical high risk for suicide attempts,” the study writes. “More careful clinical assessment of psychotic symptoms … in mental health services and better understanding of their pathological significance are urgently needed.”
JAMA Psychiatry. Published online July 17, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.140.
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