Attempted and completed suicide: Not what we expected?

I. Parra Uribe, H. Blasco-Fontecilla, G. García-Parés, M. Giró Batalla, M. Llorens Capdevila, A. Cebrià Meca, V. De Leon-Martinez, V. Pérez-Solà, D. J. Palao Vidal

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55 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Suicide attempters and suicide completers are two overlapping but distinct suicide populations. This study aims to present a more accurate characterization by comparing populations of suicide attempters and completers from the same geographical area. Methods: Samples and procedure: All cases of attempted suicide treated at the emergency room of the Corporacio Sanitària i Universitaria Tauli Pare de Sabadell in 2008 (n=312) were compared with all completed suicides recorded in the same geographical area from 2008 to 2011 (n=86). Hospital and primary care records were reviewed for sociodemographic and clinical variables. Statistical analysis: Chi- square, ANOVA, and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to identify characteristics related to suicide completion. Results: Compared to suicide attempters, suicide completers were more likely to be male (73.3%vs. 37.8%; p < 0.001), pensioners (73.7%vs. 23.4%; p < 0.001), and people living alone (31.8%vs. 11.4%; p = 0.006). Suicide completers more frequently presented somatic problems (71.7 vs. 15.7; p < 0.001), Major Depressive Disorder (54.7%vs. 27.9%; p < 0.001), and made use of more lethal methods (74.1 vs. 1.9; p < 0.001). Suicide completers were more likely to have been followed by a primary care provider (50.0%vs. 16.0%; p < 0.001). 92.3%of the suicides committed were completed during the first or second attempt. Limitations: Suicide completers were not evaluated using the psychological autopsy method. Conclusions: Despite presenting a profile of greater social and clinical severity, suicide completers are less likely to be followed by Mental Health Services than suicide attempters. Current prevention programs should be tailored to the specific profile of suicide completers. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-846
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2013


  • Prevention
  • Primary care
  • Suicide


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