Risk factors for completed suicide in schizophrenia and other chronic psychotic disorders: a case-control study

Schizophr Res. 2006 May;84(1):132-43. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2006.02.025. Epub 2006 Apr 19.


Objective: Despite an increased risk for suicide among individuals diagnosed with psychotic disorders, risk factors for completed suicide remain largely unexamined in this population. Using a case-control design, this study aimed to investigate clinical and behavioural risk factors for suicide completion in schizophrenia and other chronic psychotic disorders.

Method: A total of 81 psychotic subjects were examined; of these, 45 died by suicide. Proxy-based interviews with, on average, 2 informants were conducted using the SCID I and II interviews and a series of personality trait assessments.

Results: Psychotic individuals at risk for suicide are most readily identified by the presence of depressive disorders NOS, moderate to severe psychotic symptoms and a family history of suicidal behaviour. They also exhibited fewer negative symptoms, had more comorbid diagnoses and, contrary to findings in other populations, we found that cluster A and C personality trait symptoms seem to have protective effects against suicide in schizophrenics and other chronic psychotic suicides.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that behavioural mediators of suicide risk, such as impulsive-aggressive behaviours, do not play a role in schizophrenic and chronic psychotic suicide. This is contrary to findings in other diagnostic groups, thus implying heterogeneity in predisposing mechanisms involved in suicide.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aggression
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Autopsy
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Male
  • Psychotic Disorders / drug therapy
  • Psychotic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*


  • Antipsychotic Agents