2018 June-July

Here the selection of articles published in the months of June and July 2018, about suicide, self harm and suicidal related topics from the major scientific journals. There are three articles presented with a small comment 

  1. Prior suicide attempts predict worse clinical and functional outcomes in young people attending a mental health service.
    Iorfino F, F Hermens D, Cross SPM, Zmicerevska N, Nichles A, Groot J, Guastella

    AJ, Scott EM, B Hickie I.
    J Affect Disord. 2018 Jun 14; 238: 563-569. Doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.06.032.
    This is a study performed in Australia to assess whether prior suicide attempts predict poorer clinical and functional outcomes in mental health service attendees. Clinical and functional data from 1143 individuals (aged 12-30) attending a primary-care mental health service were collected. A correlation was found between prior suicide attempt (14% of sample, n=164) and increased suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, self-harm, diagnosis of bipolar disorder and onset of an alcohol/substance use disorder. Recurrent suicide attempts were associated with being older and comorbid alcohol/substance use disorder, while new onset suicide attempts were associated with being female, previous suicide ideation or self-harm.
    Items 1 – 4 of 4
  2. Socio- demographic, mental health and childhood adversity risk factors for self-harm and suicidal behaviour in College Students in Northern Ireland.
    Siobhan O’Neill, Margaret McLafferty, Edel Ennis, et al.
    Journal of affective disorders, June 2018. Doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.06.006

    This is a cross sectional study conducted in Northern Ireland on a population of college students, as part of the WHO World Mental Health Surveys International College Student Project to investigate the role of mental health disorders, childhood adversities and sexual orientation in suicidal behaviours. The sample consisted in 739 students with a mean age of 21. 31% of students reported suicidal, almost 1 in 5 had made a suicidal plan within the prior 12 months and 7.7 % committed an attempt in the same period. 8.2% of the students with a suicidal ideation in the past 12 months committed an attempt. Students with moderate/high levels of childhood adversities and sexual minorities had greater risk for self harm and suicidal behaviours.
    Items 2 – 4 of 4
  3. Efficacy of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Adolescents at High Risk for Suicide: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
    McCauley E, Berk MS, Asarnow JR, Adrian M, Cohen J, Korslund K, et al.
    JAMA Psychiatry. 2018 Aug 1;75(8):777–85.

    This is a randomized clinical trial conducted in the USA in an high risk population: 173 adolescents (age 12 to 18) with a prior lifetime suicide attempt with the aim to compare the efficacy of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and the individual and group supportive therapy (IGST) for reducing suicidal attempts, non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and total self-harm (primary outcomes), using the Suicide Attempt Self Injury Interview. Participants were randomly divided in two groups and assigned to DBT or IGST treatment for a 6-month weekly psychotherapy, and a 1 year follow up. The efficacy of DBT among adolescent for reducing suicide attempts, NSSI and self-harm in a sample selected for elevated suicide risk was supported. Although parents were involved in both treatments, DBT included more family involvement, where parents and youths learned copying skills as opposed to IGT’s non directive approach.
    Items 3 – 4 of 4
  4. Digital phenotyping of suicidal thoughts.
    Kleiman EM, Turner BJ, Fedor S, Beale EE, Picard RW, Huffman JC, Nock MK
    Depress Anxiety. 2018 Jul;35(7):601-608. doi: 10.1002/da.22730. Epub 2018 Apr 10.
    This is a study performed in US by the team of Matthew K. Nock. Smartphone-based monitoring was used to assess suicidal thoughts four times per day in two samples: Adults who attempted suicide in the past year recruited from onlineforums (n = 51, surveyed over 28 days) and psychiatric inpatients with recent suicidal ideation or attempts (n = 32, surveyed over the duration of inpatient treatment). Participants whose profile was characterized by more severe and persistent suicidal thoughts (i.e., higher mean and lower variability around the mean) were most likely to have made a recent suicide attempt. Hence, individuals who have had severe and stable suicidal thinking (as in the high mean/low variability phenotype in this study) may be at greater risk of engaging in suicidal behavior.
    Items 4 – 4 of 4