Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 267–270 | Cite as

Risk Factors for Suicide in Older Inpatient Veterans with Schizophrenia

  • Candace Fraser
  • James Luther
  • John KasckowEmail author
Brief Report


Patients with schizophrenia have an elevated risk of suicidal behavior. We explored whether there were age differences in inpatients with schizophrenia admitted for suicidal behavior. We compared demographic/clinical characteristics of 76 inpatients aged > 59 to those < 60. All patients had a score greater > 0 on items 4 (active suicidality) and/or 5 (passive suicidality) on the Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation for inclusion. There were no significant group differences with respect to race, education, depressive symptoms or negative symptoms. There was evidence suggesting that hallucinations appear to be less prominent in the older group. Future studies will determine whether these age related differences are stable over time and could account for potential age differences in suicidal behavior in individuals with schizophrenia.


Suicide Risk factors Schizophrenia Geriatric 



Supported by VISN CPPF and HSRD PPO 10-249-2 awards. The views do not reflect the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or that of the US government.


  1. Addington, D., Addington, J., Malticka-Tyndale, E., & Joyce, J. (1996). A psychometric comparison of the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Schizophrenia Research, 19, 205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andreasen, N. C., Arndt, S., Miller, D., Flaum, M., & Nopoulos, P. (1995). Correlational studies of the Scale for the assessment of negative symptoms and the Scale for the assessment of positive symptoms: An overview and update. Psychopathology, 28, 7–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barak, Y., Knobler, C. Y., & Aizenberg, D. (2004). Suicide attempts amongst elderly schizophrenia patients: A 10-year case-control study. Schizophrenia Research, 71, 77–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beck, A. T., Kovacs, M., & Weissman, A. (1979). Assessment of suicidal intention: The Scale for Suicide Ideation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 47, 343–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cohen, C., Abdallah, C. G., & Diwan, S. (2010). Suicide attempts and associated factors in older adults with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 119, 253–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cohen, C., Izediuno, I., Yadack, A. M., Ghish, B., & Garrett, M. (2014). Characteristics of auditory hallucinations and associated factors in older adults with schizophrenia. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 22, 442–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Erlangsen, A., Eaton, W. W., Mortensen, P. B., & Conwell, Y. (2012). Schizophrenia-a predictor of suicide during the second half of life? Schizophrenia Research, 134(2–3), 111–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Heila, H., Isometsa, E. T., Henriksson, M. M., Heikkinen, M. E., Marttunen, M. J., & Lonnqvist, J. K. (1997). Suicide and schizophrenia: A nationwide psychological autopsy study on age- and sex-specific clinical characteristics of 92 suicide victims with schizophrenia. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 1235–1242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hor, K., & Taylor, M. (2010). Suicide and schizophrenia: A systematic review of rates and risk factors. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24(4 Suppl), 81–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kasckow, J., Gao, S., Hanusa, B., Rotondi, A., Chinman, M., Zickmund, S., Gurklis, J., Fox, L., Cornelius, J., Richmond, I., & Haas, G. L. (2015). Telehealth monitoring of patients with schizophrenia and suicidal ideation. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 45(5), 600–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kasckow, J., Zickmund, S., Gurklis, J., Luther, J., Fox, L., Taylor, M., Richmond, I., & Haas, G. L. (2016). Using telehealth to augment an intensive case monitoring program in veterans with schizophrenia and suicidal ideation: A pilot trial. Psychiatry Research, 239, 111–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicsUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.VA Pittsburgh MIRECCVA Pittsburgh Health Care SystemPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Beckley VA Health Care SystemBeckleyUSA

Personalised recommendations