INTERNATIONAL: Lack of Follow-Up Visits a Factor in Increase in Suicide Rates, Study Shows

July 21, 2017

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Washington Times

A recent study found that patients are at increased risk of suicide following discharge from inpatient psychiatric facilities. Researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia examined 100 studies from around the world conducted between 1946 and 2016. They found that the risk of suicide death among patients was highest in the period immediately following discharge and remained elevated for many years afterwards. Patients who were admitted with suicidal thoughts or behaviors were found to be at particular risk of suicide postdischarge. The authors concluded that more follow-up is needed after patients at risk of suicide leave inpatient treatment. In an accompanying editorial in JAMA Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center psychology professor Mark Olfson reiterated that conclusion. “The clinical message of these findings is clear: universal and continuing suicide prevention interventions are needed for patients after psychiatric hospital discharge,” he wrote.

Spark Extra! Read the study abstract.