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Suicide ideation as a risk factor for Self-harm in a clinical population

Campbell, Vanessa (2014) Suicide ideation as a risk factor for Self-harm in a clinical population. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Individuals who self-harm are at an increased risk of suicide ideation and attempts. Although risk of completed suicide for clinical adults who self-harm is often minimalized, individuals who experience suicide ideation are at a heightened risk for suicide attempts. It is therefore important to understand the risk factors associated with suicide ideation in order to identify those most at risk. The aim of this project was to determine the prevalence, risk factors and main differences associated with self-harm in a clinical population presenting with and without suicide ideation. The study was conducted using 675 patient review forms from a large psychiatric clinic in Western Australia. Logistic regression was used to determine if socio-demographic factors (age, gender, socio-economic status), acute alcohol use, and affect (deflated mood, anxiety) at the time of presentation were associated with an increased risk of self-harm behaviour. Self-harm with and without suicide ideation was found to be associated with female gender, younger age groups (<18 years), and alcohol use. In addition, suicide ideation was associated with a deflated mood. Compared to females who self-harm, male clinical adults were significantly more likely to present with co-morbid suicidal ideation than not. The findings support the need for more consistent and informative definitions of self-harm and suicidal behaviour. In particular, the factors associated with suicide ideation should be explored in young people/adults presenting with self-harm, and strategies targeting the antecedents and concomitants of self-harm behaviour, such as negative affective states and alcohol consumption, should be employed.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Supervisor: Dziurawiec, Suzanne
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