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Characteristics of Attempted Suicide Patients Presenting to a Greek Emergency Department

George Filippatos and Evridiki Karasi

Background: Attempted suicide is a major health problem internationally and a common cause of presentation to emergency department. The identification of the potential contributing factors associated with suicide attempts is of great importance for effective suicide prevention. Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with attempted suicide presenting in a Greek emergency department. Methods: A cross-sectional, retrospective study was conducted including all episodes of attempted suicide attending to emergency departments in a general hospital in Greece from January 2014 to December 2014. Data was collected using a standard registration form. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests were used to identify the factors associated with attempted suicide. Results: A total of 203 suicide attempt presentations were made to the emergency department by 195 individuals. The male-to-female attempted suicide ratio was 1:1.5. The mean age of patients was 40.5 ± 15.6 years and the largest numbers by age groups were 25-34 year-old (28.6%). The most common method used for attempted suicide was self-poisoning (80.8%) mainly with benzodiazepines (36.6%) and analgesics (18.6%). The majority of self-harm involved self-cutting/stabbing (63.9%) and hanging (13.9%). The most frequently reported reason for attempted suicide was related to interpersonal relationships (59.6%). Psychosocial assessment by specialist mental health personnel occurred in 44.3% of cases. Self-poisoning were significantly associated with gender and education in multivariable analysis.Conclusions: Attempted suicide is a multi-determined act which results from an interaction between a wide range of socio-demographic and clinical factor. Further researches are required to enhance our understanding of patients’ profile that predispose to suicide attempt and contribute to implementation of targeted treatment approaches.