Predictors of suicide-related behaviors during treatment following a first episode of psychosis: The contribution of baseline, past, and recent factors Academic Article uri icon


  • Suicide-related behaviors (suicide attempts and suicides) are common in the early phase of psychotic disorders. Studies have examined risk factors among baseline and historical (i.e., past) variables, yet little is known about recent characteristics that increase suicide risk during treatment for first-episode psychosis (FEP). This study had two aims: first, to determine the relative importance of baseline, past, and recent variables to the prediction of suicide-related behaviors in patients with FEP; second, to identify recent characteristics that exert most influence on suicide risk levels and which could become foci of preventive interventions.This was a case-control study of 180 patients from a cohort entering a specialist FEP service between 1/12/2002 and 30/11/2005. Data for 72 cases and 108 matched controls were obtained via medical record audit. Multivariate logistic regression models assessed the contribution of baseline, past, and recent domains. Suicide attempt or suicide during treatment was the outcome variable.The strongest risk factors for suicide-related behaviors were: baseline depressive symptoms, baseline suicidal ideation/intent, past negative events, past non-suicidal self-injurious behavior, recent negative events, recent depressive symptoms, and recent non-suicidal self-injurious behavior. However, when these were entered into a hierarchical logistic regression model, only recent non-suicidal self-injurious behavior (AOR=72.96, p<0.001), and recent negative events (AOR=1.90, p=0.003) remained significant predictors. The final model accurately classified 75.5% of cases and 89.2% of controls, and explained 72.0% of variance in the suicide attempt status.Since recent negative events and recent non-suicidal self-injurious behavior were the strongest predictors of suicide-related behaviors during treatment for FEP, psychiatric services could consider incorporating psychosocial interventions addressing affect regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, stress management and problem solving, alongside case management and pharmacotherapy, to help to reduce the rates of suicide attempts and suicides in first-episode patients.


  • Fedyszyn, IE
  • Robinson, J
  • Harris, MG
  • Paxton, SJ
  • Francey, S

publication date

  • September 2012