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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 69-73

Socio-demographic and clinical profile of patients with attempted suicide attending emergency services at the mental health institute in Northern India

1 Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Delhi, India
2 Institute of Mental Health, Woodbridge Hospital, Singapore, India
3 Ex -resident, Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Vijender Singh
Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Dilshad Garden, New Delhi - 110 095
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-8990.153713

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Background: Attempted suicide is one of the major emergencies in psychiatry. Suicide attempts are considered to be the best predictors of an eventual completed suicide. Data of patients presenting with attempted suicide to the emergency settings at mental health institute settings is scanty in India. Aims: The study was carried out to assess the socio-demographic and clinical profile of the patients with suicidal attempt attending emergency services at a teaching Mental Health Institute in Northern India. Methods: Case records of all patients with attempted suicide attending emergency services at Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) for one calendar year were reviewed. Socio-demographic and clinical details of the patients were retrieved on a Performa specifically designed for this study. Results: Of all the patients who attended emergency services during the study period, 56 patients had suicidal attempts. Majority of them were married (66%), males (57%), in the age group of 20-40 years (61%), were from nuclear families (80.4%) and had urban domicile (83.9%). Severe Mental Illnesses were found in about 70% of the cases with duration of illness more than 24 months in 39.2%. Thirty six (64.3%) patients had 1 suicide attempt while 18 (32.3%) had 2 or more attempts in preceding one month. In 70% - 80% of the cases, the lethality and intentionality of the index episode was found to be moderate to high. Most of the cases needed inpatient treatment. Conclusion: Assessment and management of patients presenting to emergency room with suicidal behavior is a key factor in preventing suicide. There is a pressing need to identify the socio-demographic and clinical factors affecting risk of suicide in a given case. Every case presenting with suicidal ideations or attempt should be evaluated in detail.

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