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

TABLE 6: Correlations between the Hopelessness Scale and outcome criteria
Hopelessness
at the time of
index estimation
Anxious depression (IMPS) at follow up 0.24 p < 0.01
Global functioning (GAS) at follow-up -0.17 ns
Self-evaluated depressivity (D-S) at follow-up 0.29 p < 0.001
Recurrence of parasuicide at follow-up 0.13 ns

in Table 6. The association with anxious depression is low but significant, whereas the association with the GAS is not significant. The correlation coefficient between the Hopelessness Scale and the recurrence of parasuicide within one year is only 0.13 and is not statistically significant. During the follow-up period of one year twenty-five patients attempted suicide once or several times, i.e. approximately 10 per cent of the initial sample.

Another six patients died of suicide during this follow-up period. It was not possible to analyse the predictive value of the Hopelessness Scale with respect to eventual suicide on the basis of this small group. Therefore, a comparison of the results of the present study with the data from Beck et al. ( 1985) cannot be made.


Summary

In a multi-dimensional assessment, Beck's Hopelessness Scale was correlated fairly highly with depressivity. A correlation analysis and a secondary-factor analysis demonstrated a closer relationship between the Hopelessness Scale and actual depressive symptoms than depressivity as a personality trait. The value of the Hopelessness Scale as a predictor of one-year outcome was rather low, expecially with respect to recurrence of parasuicide during the follow-up period.


References

Beck, A. T. ( 1963). "'Thinking and Depression'", Archives of General Psychiatry, 9, 324-33.

-----, Weissman, A., Lester, D. and Trexler, L. ( 1974). "'The Measurement of Pessimism: The Hopelessness Scale'" Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 861-5.

Beck, A. T., Kovacs, M. and Weissman, A. ( 1975). "'Hopelessness and Suicidal Behavior: An Overview'". Journal of the American Medical Association, 234, 1146-9.

Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., Kovacs, M. and Garrison, B. ( 1985). "'Hopelessness and Eventual Suicide: A 10-year Prospective Study of PatientsHospitalized with Suicidal Ideation'"

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