Severity of Attempted Suicide as Measured by the Pierce Suicidal Intent Scale
Background: Suicidal intent is an essential feature of suicidal behavior. Previous research has been controversial and the need for further evidence has been pointed out. Aims: The aim of the present study was to characterize the severity of attempted suicide by extracting components of suicidal intent and analyzing levels of suicidal intent by gender, age, and variables indicating the severity of attempted suicide. Methods: Data on suicide attempters (N = 469) were collected in Estonia using WHO SUPRE-MISS methodology. To measure suicidal intent, a revised version of the Pierce Suicidal Intent Scale (PSIS) was used. Results: The level of suicidal intent was not gender-dependent, but rose with age. Males and females were also similar in terms of discrete components. Classified in age groups, their unequivocally expressed "wish to die" was similar, but equivocal communication (components termed "arrangements" and "circumstances") increased with age. Middle-aged groups scored higher for the "alcohol/drugs" component. Psychiatric diagnosis,method of attempting suicide, and duration of hospitalization were linked to suicidal intent, but danger to life as assessed by interviewers was not. Conclusions: In suicide-risk assessment, results from a Suicidal Intent Scale contribute to clinical observation and add valuable information about a suicidal person's real intention.