December 1971

Relation of Depression of Attempted Suicide and Seriousness of Intent

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Psychiatry, philadelphia General Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;25(6):573-576. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750180093015

Forty-five patients admitted to Philadelphia General Hospital after having attempted suicide were studied using the Beck Depression Inventory (omitting the suicidal ideation item) as the measure of depression, it was found that 80% of the patients attempting suicide scored in the depressed range. Their mean depression score was significantly higher than the mean score of 394 psychiatric inpatient controls. There was no significant difference between the depression scores of attempters admitted to medical and surgical wards and the scores of those admitted to the psychiatric wards. The patient's wish to die was measured by the suicidal intent scale. A significant correlation between the depth of depression and the degree of suicidal intent was found. Statistical analysis indicated that this correlation was not a function of age.