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April 22, 1974

Suicide Notes and Risk of Future Suicide

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 1974;228(4):495-496. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230290043030

The predictive value of the presence of a suicide note in the assessment of suicidal risk is evaluated in a study of 231 attempted and 194 completed suicides. The 33 attempted suicides who left suicide notes demonstrated significantly greater risk, as measured by the Suicidal Intent Scale, than the 198 attempted suicides who did not leave notes. This indicates that knowledge of the existence of a note can greatly aid the clinician in his assessment of suicidal risk and in his management of the suicidal individual.

(JAMA 228:495-496, 1974)