Adequacy of, attitudes toward, and adherence to treatments by suicidal and nonsuicidal depressed patients

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2008 Mar;196(3):223-9. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31816634f5.


We examined differences in treatments received, and attitudes and adherence to them between suicidal and nonsuicidal patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Psychiatric MDD patients with no suicidal behavior (N = 92), suicidal ideation (N = 92), or attempts (N = 34) were compared during 6 months of follow-up in the Vantaa Depression Study (VDS). Patients with suicidal behavior received antidepressants or adequate antidepressant treatment significantly more often, had more frequent appointments with psychiatrists, more psychotherapeutic support, and more favorable attitudes toward antidepressant treatment than nonsuicidal patients. However, after adjusting for the confounding severity of depression, the significance of these differences was lost. Adherence to treatment was similar in the patient groups. Overall, among psychiatric patients with MDD, those known to be suicidal have higher suicide risk and should receive more intensive treatment. However, suicidal behavior per se does not seem to markedly influence treatments provided nor should it be associated with negative attitudes or poor adherence to treatments.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Support
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires