Current Research on Suicide and Parasuicide: Selected Proceedings of the Second European Symposium on Suicidal Behaviour, Edinburgh, June 1988

By Stephen David Platt; Norman Kreitman | Go to book overview

Suicidal behaviour in schizophrenic patients:
a follow-up investigation

A. ROHDE, A. MARNEROS and A. DEISTER


Introduction

It is generally agreed that amongst psychotic (particularly schizophrenic) patients there is a high risk of suicide and attempted suicide ( Allebeck and Wistedt, 1986; Blacket al. 1985; Drake et al. 1984, 1985, 1986; Pickaret al. 1986; Roy, 1985). The aims of the present study are, therefore, to investigate (a) how often suicidal behaviour occurs during the long-term course of schizophrenia; (b) whether there are certain schizophrenic patients in whom the risk of suicidal behaviour is higher than in others; (c) whether there is a point in the course of the illness when the risk is especially high; or (d) whether there are particular circumstances which seem to 'produce' or 'support' suicidal behaviour. To answer these questions we investigated suicidal behaviour during the course of schizophrenia in ninety-seven patients.


Materials and methods

The ninety-seven schizophrenic patients referred to in this chapter were investigated as part of the Cologne study on the long-term course and outcome of psychoses ( Marneroset al. 1986a,b,c, 1989a,b; Steinmeyeret al. 1989). They were categorised as schizophrenic from a total of 205 patients interviewed by us after a mean duration of illness of 19.6 years (for instruments of the follow-up investigation see Table 1). The criteria given in Marneroset al. ( 1986a, 1988a) were used. Schizophrenia is defined as a mental disorder with schizophrenic symptomatology according to DSM-III (with slight modifications, Marneroset al. 1986a, 1988a), but with no melancholic or manic symptomatology during

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