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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 62-70

Prevalence of suicidality and its correlates in geriatric depression: A multicentric study under the aegis of the Indian Association for Geriatric Mental Health


1 Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, GMERS Medical College, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
4 Department of Psychiatry, Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
5 Department of Psychiatry, Advanced Medical Research Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
6 Department of Psychiatry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
7 Department of Psychiatry, Skims Medical College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
8 Department of Psychiatry, Topiwala National Medical College and BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sandeep Grover
Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh . 160 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jgmh.jgmh_35_19

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Aim of the Study: This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and risk factors for suicidal ideations (SIs) and suicidal attempts (SAs) among elderly patients with depression, seeking treatment in psychiatric setups. Methodology: The study sample comprised 488 elderly patients (age ≥60 years) with depression recruited across eight centers. These patients were evaluated on the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale, Geriatric Depression Scale-30, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Patient Health Questionnaire-15 Scale, UCLA Loneliness Scale, Revised Social Connectedness Scale, and Montreal Cognitive Assessment Scale. Results: “Wish to die” was present in one-fifth (21.7%) and about one-fourth (26.6%) of the study samples at the time of assessment and in the lifetime, respectively. Overall, one-fourth (25.8%; n = 126) of the participants had SIs at the time of assessment and two-fifths (41.5%; n = 203) had SIs in the lifetime. Overall, about one-tenth (9.2%) of the participants made an SA just before assessment and one-sixth (16.6%) had at least one SA in the lifetime. Compared to those with no SIs in the lifetime, those with current and lifetime SIs had lower age of onset and longer duration of illness, less often had a comorbid physical illness, more often had recurrent depressive disorder, had significantly higher anxiety as assessed on GAD-7 scale, and had significantly higher prevalence of loneliness and significantly higher prevalence of cognitive deficits. When those with any current and lifetime SAs and those with no lifetime SAs were compared, those with SAs had longer duration of current treatment and more often had comorbid physical illness and significantly higher cognitive deficits. Conclusions: The present study suggests that about one-fourth (25.8%) of the elderly with depression have SIs at the time of assessment and about two-fifths (41.5%) have lifetime SIs. About one-sixth of the elderly patients with depression make at least one SA in the lifetime and about one-tenth attempt suicide in recent past. In terms of risk factors for SIs and SAs, the present study suggests that the presence of comorbid anxiety, loneliness, and cognitive deficits possibly predispose the elderly to suicidal behaviors.


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