Specific personality traits linked to suicide risk in schizophrenia
MedWire News: Patients with schizophrenia who have a history of suicide attempts show a different pattern of temperament and character traits compared with their nonsuicidal counterparts, say Turkish researchers.
"Our data indicate that schizophrenic patients will show a greater risk for suicide according to certain personality configurations," comment Okan Ekinci (Yozgat State Hospital, Turkey) and team.
The findings come from a study of 94 stable patients with schizophrenia who were aged between 18 and 65 years. Of these, 46 had a lifetime history of suicide attempts.
All of the patients were assessed using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), and scores were compared between suicide attempters and nonattempters.
The researchers found that suicide attempters had significantly higher TCI temperament scores for harm avoidance and persistence compared with nonattempters, at 17.45 versus 13.93, and 4.71 versus 3.60, respectively.
Regarding character dimensions, suicide attempters had significantly lower TCI scores for self-directedness and cooperativeness compared with nonattempters, at 10.71 versus 15.43, and 11.06 versus 14.41, respectively.
Logistic regression analysis that accounted for factors such as age, gender, education, and age at illness onset showed that harm avoidance, persistence, self-directedness, and cooperativeness were significant predictors for lifetime suicidal attempts among the patients.
Writing in Comprehensive Psychiatry, Ekinci and team conclude that "we found evidence in support of personality factors as predictors of suicide" in schizophrenia patients.
They add: "Clinicians should be aware of this issue and take it into consideration when assessing and treating patients with schizophrenia because suicide is one important cause of mortality in this patient group."
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By Mark Cowen