Epidemiology of suicide attempts among persons with psychotic disorder in the general population

Schizophr Res. 2010 Dec;124(1-3):22-8. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2010.09.009. Epub 2010 Oct 8.


Objective: To establish the epidemiology of suicide attempts in persons with psychotic disorder identified from the general population and to investigate the associations of suicidal behavior with other clinical characteristics and with physical violence against other people.

Method: A random sample of 9922 Finnish persons aged 18 years or over was screened for psychotic disorder using multiple sources of information. All screen positives and random sample of screen negatives were invited to an SCID interview. Diagnostic assessment, lifetime history of suicide attempts and violence against others were based on all available systematically evaluated information from the questionnaire, interview and/or case records.

Results: Of persons with a lifetime history of any primary or substance-induced psychotic disorder (n = 264), 34.5% (women: 34.1%, men: 34.9%) had a history of at least one suicide attempt. There were no suicide attempts among persons with delusional disorder, while the rate of suicide attempts was higher among persons with substance-induced psychotic disorders (48.8%) than in persons with other psychotic disorders 41.8%) (χ(2) = 4.4, d.f. = 1, P = 0.036). Suicide attempts were associated with younger age, comorbid substance use disorders, depressive symptoms, and physical violence against other people.

Conclusion: Suicide attempts are common in all psychotic disorders except for delusional disorder. They are particularly common in substance-induced psychotic disorder and in persons with comorbid substance use disorders. They are associated with severe depressive symptoms but not with the severity of psychotic symptoms. Suicidal behavior correlates with physical violence against other people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / epidemiology*
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / psychology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence / psychology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*