OBJECTIVE: There is an elevated risk for suicide in the year following psychiatric hospitalization. The present study examined whether perceived coercion during admission into psychiatric hospitalization increases risk for postdischarge suicide attempts.
METHODS: Participants were 905 psychiatric inpatients from the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study that were assessed every 10 weeks during the year following discharge. Perceived coercion during admission was assessed while hospitalized, and suicide attempts were assessed following discharge. Analyses adjusted for nonrandom assignment of groups via propensity score weighting and for established correlates of postdischarge suicidal behavior.
RESULTS: Of 905 participants, 67% endorsed perception of coercion into psychiatric hospitalization, and 168 (19%) made a postdischarge suicide attempt. Patients who perceived coercion during hospitalization admission were more likely to make a suicide attempt after discharge than those who did not, even after adjusting for established covariates (OR = 1.29, |z| = 2.87, p = .004, 95% CI = 1.08, 1.54). There was no interaction between recent self-harm or suicidal ideation at time of admission and perceived coercion on postdischarge suicide attempts.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients’ perception of the context in which they were hospitalized is associated with a small but significant increase in their likelihood of postdischarge suicide attempts.