Recent general practice contacts of hospitalised suicide attempters

N Z Med J. 1989 Mar 22;102(864):130-1.


This study investigated the timing of recent medical contact in 150 patients hospitalised for a suicide attempt. The research also examined the proportion of attempters complaining of feeling depressed or suicidal to their doctor at that recent consultation. Seventy-three percent of attempters had seen their doctor in the past three months. Contact with general practitioners was most common in the week before their attempt with 32% of all attempters visiting their doctor during this time and 56% visiting in the previous month. Of those attempters who had consulted their general practitioner prior to their attempt, only 35% had complained about feeling depressed or suicidal to their doctor. Several factors that hinder the successful identification of suicidal risk in the general practitioner-patient relationship are identified. The implications of these findings for suicide prevention are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Communication
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Male
  • Office Visits / statistics & numerical data*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Time Factors