Background: Recent studies suggest that violence is more common in the first episode of psychosis than after treatment.
Aim: To estimate the proportion of survivors of violent suicide attempts during psychotic illness who had not previously received treatment with antipsychotic medication.
Methods: An audit of the medical records of patients admitted to an inner city trauma centre after having survived a jump of more than 3 m or a self-inflicted gunshot wound or stab wound to a vital body part.
Results: There were 88 survivors of violent suicide attempts. Thirty-seven of those had a psychotic illness, including 33 with a schizophrenia-spectrum psychosis. Of the 37, 18 (48.6%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 32.3-65.0%) had never received treatment for psychosis.
Conclusion: As first episode psychosis is less common than previously treated psychosis, there appears to be a higher risk of violent suicide attempts during the first episode of psychosis than later in the illness.
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.