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Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud

On-line version ISSN 1812-9528


TORALES, Julio; BARRIOS, Iván  and  GONZALEZ, Sandra. Characterization of patients with suicidal behavior hospitalized in the Psychiatry Service of a University Hospital. Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud [online]. 2020, vol.18, n.2, pp.54-62. ISSN 1812-9528.

Each year about 800 thousand people die from suicide. Given the importance of the study of suicidal behavior for public health in general, and for mental health in particular, and given its high frequency, it was considered appropriate to conduct this research in order to characterize patients with suicidal behavior, who received medical attention at a university hospital. This was a descriptive study, with non-probabilistic sampling, of consecutive cases. One hundred twenty-seven patients who were hospitalized, between 2014 and 2018, in the Psychiatry Service of the Hospital de Clínicas of the National University of Asunción, Paraguay, were included. Seventy eight percent of the sample was female, with a mean age of 29±13 years while 28.16% of the patients presented suicidal behavior. As for the psychiatric diagnoses that these patients possessed, the highest frequency was for borderline personality disorder (43.3%), followed by major depressive disorder (18.9%). Fifty-three-point five percent of the patients had a history of some previous suicide attempt. The most used methods were medication intake (42.5%), hanging (16.5%) and cuts in the forearm (11.8%). The results coincide with the medical literature and research in this regard and serve to characterize this population, however, the limitations of the design of the present study must be considered. Knowing the main characteristics of those with suicidal behavior allows health professionals to estimate life risk and establish care plans.

Keywords : suicide; suicidal behavior; mental disorders; hospitalized patients.

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