Correlates and antecedents of hospital admission for attempted suicide: A nationwide survey in Italy

Antonio Preti, Leonardo Tondo, Davide Sisti, Marco B. Rocchi, Giovanni De Girolamo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined data on symptom patterns in the week prior to admission for suicide attempt, in a nationwide representative sample of patients. Socio-demographic, clinical, and treatment data was gathered for 1,547 patients admitted over a 12-day index period during the year 2004 to 130 public and 36 private psychiatric facilities in Italy. Patients were evaluated in terms of whether they had been admitted for having attempted suicide or not. A detailed checklist was used to assess symptom pattern at admission; diagnoses were based on ICD-10 categories. Two-hundred thirty patients (14.8%) in the sample had been admitted for suicide attempt. Patients with depression or with personality disorders were more frequently observed among suicide attempters. First-contact patients were significantly more likely to have been admitted after a suicide attempt, the only exception being individuals with bipolar disorder, manic phase. No diagnosis was statistically related to admission after suicide attempt, once symptoms pattern at admission had been accounted for. Disordered eating behavior, depressive symptoms, substance abuse, and non-prescribed medication abuse were positively related to attempted suicide, as were any traumatic events in the week prior to admission; symptoms of psychosis (hallucinations/delusions) and lack of self-care were negatively associated with suicide attempt admission. Greater attention to symptoms immediately preceding or concomitant with admission after a suicide attempt can be a key factor in establishing the best treatment plan and discharge strategy, the most effective community-service referral, and targeted intervention programmes for patients hospitalized for a suicide attempt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • In-patients
  • Prevention
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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