Introduction: In the early phases of psychosis there is a high risk of suicide and suicidal behaviour. Previous research on psychotic disorders has shown contradicting gender patterns in suicidal behaviour. This study aims to describe the prevalence of suicidal behaviour and analyze this according to gender and risk factors for suicidal behaviour in a group of consecutively included patients with first episode non-affective psychosis (FEP).
Method: Two hundred and nineteen patients from an area with a program for early detection (ED) of psychosis were examined, and data from baseline were used for analyzes. Social, demographical and clinical variables were analyzed and compared between genders. Suicidal behaviour was rated at baseline and retrospectively reported as levels of suicidality (suicidal ideations, suicidal plans or suicide attempts) for two time periods; last month prior to study entry and in lifetime.
Results: Suicidal behaviour in lifetime was present in 66.1 % of the patients, while 50.9 % reported suicidal behaviour during last month. Females had significantly higher prevalence of suicidal behaviour than males at both time intervals. Suicidal behaviour was associated with depressive symptoms and female gender and remained significant when included in a multivariate model.
Conclusion: Suicidal behaviour was highly prevalent in this sample of FEP patients with higher levels of suicidality in females than in males. Depressive symptoms and female gender were associated with suicidal behaviour.