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17-01-2019 | Original Article | Uitgave 3/2019

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 3/2019

Characteristics of Child Psychiatric Outpatients at Highest Risk for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 3/2019
Pieter J. Vuijk, Hillary H. Bush, Patrick S. McGuinness, Sheila M. O’Keefe, Brenda A. Lee, Hillary L. Ditmars, Anna R. Samkavitz, Hannah S. Lind, Ellen B. Braaten, Alysa E. Doyle
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On average, compared to non-referred youth, child psychiatric outpatients show elevated rates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs), which are predictors of completed suicide. Determining the psychopathology features that associate with highest risk for STBs among youth outpatients may yield opportunities for targeted prevention/intervention. Yet, outpatient studies are limited and have not systematically examined comorbidity and dimensional psychopathology. In 758 youth, aged 6–18, consecutively referred for neuropsychiatric evaluation, we examined the extent to which diagnostic groups, comorbid subgroups and dimensional symptoms associated with STBs. After controlling for comorbidity, mood, anxiety and conduct disorders associated with elevated STB risk. Regarding dimensions, symptoms of depression, aggression and psychosis all contributed to higher STB risk. Although ADHD (as a diagnosis or dimension) did not associate with elevated STB risk independently, ADHD that was comorbid with other conditions did. Suicide prevention/intervention efforts should be investigated in youth outpatients with the highest risk for STBs.

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