People with mental illness have an increased risk of suicide. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of suicide risk estimates among psychiatric inpatients based on the body of evidence found in scientific peer-reviewed literature; primarily focusing on the relative risks, rates, time trends, and socio-demographic and clinical risk factors of suicide in psychiatric inpatients. Psychiatric inpatients have a very high risk of suicide relative to the background population, but it remains challenging for clinicians to identify those patients that are most likely to die from suicide during admission. Most studies are based on low power, thus compromising quality and generalisability. The few studies with sufficient statistical power mainly identified non-modifiable risk predictors such as male gender, diagnosis, or recent deliberate self-harm. Also, the predictive value of these predictors is low. It would be of great benefit if future studies would be based on large samples while focusing on modifiable predictors over the course of an admission, such as hopelessness, depressive symptoms, and family/social situations. This would improve our chances of developing better risk assessment tools.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited