Suicidal Ideation of Patients in the Acute Stage of Stroke
Journal of the Korean Neuropsychiatric Association (신경정신의학)
Journal of the Korean Neuropsychiatric Association (신경정신의학), Vol.40(2) : 243~252, 2001
Objectives : The presence of psychiatric disorders including depression and anxiety disorders is considered to be the most important risk factor of suicide. Also, suicidal risk is known to be increased in patients who have serious medical illnesses. Like in patients with other medical illness, some authors reported that suicidal risk is increased in patients with stroke. But there have been no reports with Korean patients. The aim of this study is to investigate the frequency of suicidal ideation of patients in the acute stage of stroke, and to examine the demographic characteristics, and psychiatric and neurological symptoms between the patients with and without suicidal ideation.
Methods : Seventy seven hospitalized stroke patients at the Hallym Stroke Center from July of 1999 to June of 2000 were included in this study. Beck Suicidal Ideation Scale(BSIS) was used to evaluate suicidal ideation. Beck Depression Inventory(BDI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory(BAI) for depression and anxiety, and Social Support Scale(SSS) for social support system of the stroke patients were used. Neurologic disabilities were rated with National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale(NIHSS) and Barthel´s Index.
Results : Thirty five percent(N=27) of the stroke patients reported severe suicidal ideation. Scores of BDI, BAI and SSS were higher in the patients with severe suicidal ideation than their counterpart. There were no differences in Barthel´s index score and NIHSS between two groups. Most patients with severe suicidal ideation had depressive or anxiety symptoms. But patients without depressive or anxiety symptoms also reported severe suicidal ideation.
Conclusions : Thirty five percent of stroke patients in acute stage of their illness have severe suicidal ideation that requires careful psychiatric evaluation and intervention. Inclusion of routine assessment of suicidal ideation in these patients is recommended.