Death ideas, suicidal thoughts, and plans among nursing home residents

Paolo Scocco, Giovanna Fantoni, Monica Rapattoni, Giovanni De Girolamo, Luigi Pavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies have shown that suicides are at least as frequent among Nursing Home (NH) residents as they are among older people in the general population. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of death- and/or suicidal feelings, thoughts, and plans and any attempted suicides in a random, unselected sample (N = 288) of individuals aged 65-years-and-over, living in NHs located in the Veneto Region (the Italian North-East). One hundred seventy-two participants were surveyed with a response rate of 59.7%. Five sample questions were asked to investigate the presence of death- and suicidal thoughts, plans and behaviors in different time periods. Among the NH residents, 30.8% admitted having had death or suicidal thoughts or plans during the month prior to the interview. The oldest-old residents (85 + y) more frequently reported death-suicide ideation. This high frequency of death and/or suicidal feelings and thoughts among older NH residents should be carefully considered when planning and implementing health care programs in these facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • Death ideation
  • Elderly
  • Nursing home
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide feeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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