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March 1960

Characteristics of Forty-Four Patients Who Subsequently Committed Suicide

Author Affiliations

Houston, Texas
From the Houston Veterans Administration Hospital and the Department of Psychiatry, Baylor University College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(3):314-323. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590090070011

This is a descriptive study of the 44 known persons who previously had been patients at a particular Veterans Administration General Hospital and who subsequently committed suicide. During the decade 1949-1959, a total of 19 patients still on the hospital rolls and 25 former patients committed suicide. Information about the suicides of the latter came from relatives or from reports in the newspapers. The subjects were all male veterans. Thirty-nine of them had been treated and studied on the psychiatric service, and the other five had been on medical or surgical wards. All known persons who subsequently committed suicide are included. The study does not include seven patients who were hospitalized for the first time after a suicidal act which eventually resulted in death.

Method of Study  Data were collected retrospectively, almost entirely from records. The following records were surveyed in each case: hospital

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