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

cent incidence of repetition for a one-year period. Bancroft and Marsack ( 1977), during a period of three years, find 26 per cent incidence of repetition, most of them during the first six months. Many studies find less than 10 per cent incidence of repetition in six months. The results of the present analysis cannot totally explain the high repetition rate. Nevertheless, it must be noted that this area of France is one of the regions where suicide incidence is at the highest (70 per cent higher than the national mean incidence), where the incidence of attempting suicide is higher than in our previous survey (25 per cent higher), and where repeaters constitute a larger group (48-41 per cent).

Although repetition is not uncommon, risk scales failed to identify clearly a group of repeaters with a high level of confidence. As reported by Myers ( 1982) in a critical review of the literature, we too found a relative low level of predictivity.


Conclusion

The prevalence of repetition among suicide attempters admitted to a general hospital is high. A six-month follow-up demonstrates the importance of repetition, and identifies the associated risk factors such as a low socio-cultural level, and health problems (alcoholism and mental illnesses) among the probands and their relatives.

However, an evaluation of the different risk scales shows that they have a low positive predictive value for repetition. This emphasises the difficulty of predicting repetition in individual cases.


References

Bancroft, J. and Marsack, P. ( 1977). "'The Repetitiveness of Self-Poisoning and Self-Injury'", British Journal of Psychiatry, 131, 393-400.

Buglass, D., Harton, J. ( 1974). "'A scale for predicting subsequent suicidal behaviour'" British Journal of Psychiatry, 124, 573-8.

Davidson, F. and Philippe, A. ( 1986). 'Suicide et tentative de suicide aujourd'hui. Etude épidémiologique'. Doin/INSERM, Paris, 173 p.

Hawton, K., Fagg, J., Marsack, P. et al. ( 1982). "'Deliberate Self-Poisoning and Self-Injury in the Oxford Area, 1972-1980'", Social Psychiatry, 17, 175-9.

Morgan, H. G., Barton, J., Pottle, S. et al. ( 1976). "'Deliberate Self-Harm: A Follow-up of 279 Patients'", British Journal of Psychiatry, 128, 361-8.

Myers, E. D. ( 1982). "'Subsequent Deliberate Self-Harm in Patients Referred to a Psychiatrist: A Prospective Study'", British Journal of Psychiatry, 140, 132-7.

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