Do psychosocial and pharmacological interventions reduce suicide in schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum disorders?
Suicide is the leading cause of premature death among individuals with schizophrenia. Approximately 10-15% of patients with schizophrenia die by suicide, and 18-55% make a suicide attempt throughout their life. Despite the progress of pharmacological efforts in reducing the symptoms of schizophrenia, treatments have had limited success in reducing the overall rate of suicide among this sub-population. Few controlled studies have determined the efficacy of psychosocial interventions in the prevention of suicide. The complexity of this relationship is heightened further by incomplete research efforts investigating the particular nature of suicidal behavior among patients with comorbid conditions (such as major depression and substance abuse disorder), and across the diverse spectrum of disorders that categorize chizophrenia. This article reviews these findings in combination with a brief epidemiological consideration of suicide n schizophrenia and risk factors for suicide among this sub-population. Shortcomings of previous research, and possible avenues for future investigations relating to this matter are also discussed.
Archives of Suicide Research