Emergency Department Youth Patients With Suicidal Ideation or Attempts: Predicting Suicide Attempts Through 18 Months of Follow-Up

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2017 Oct;47(5):551-566. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12309. Epub 2016 Nov 3.


This prospective study of suicidal emergency department (ED) patients (ages 10-18) examined the timing, cumulative probability, and predictors of suicide attempts through 18 months of follow-up. The cumulative probability of attempts was as follows: .15 at 6 months, .22 at 1 year, and .24 by 18 months. One attempt was fatal, yielding a death rate of .006. Significant predictors of suicide attempt risk included a suicide attempt at ED presentation (vs. suicidal ideation only), nonsuicidal self-injurious behavior, and low levels of delinquent symptoms. Results underscore the importance of both prior suicide attempts and nonsuicidal self-harm as risk indicators for future and potentially lethal suicide attempts.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Emergency Services, Psychiatric / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Self-Injurious Behavior* / diagnosis
  • Self-Injurious Behavior* / prevention & control
  • Self-Injurious Behavior* / psychology
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Suicide, Attempted* / prevention & control
  • Suicide, Attempted* / psychology
  • United States
  • Young Adult