Attempted suicide in older depressed patients: Effect of cognitive functioning

Ajaya K. Upadhyaya, Yeates Conwell, Paul R. Duberstein, Diane Denning, Christopher Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The authors explored cognitive functioning and suicidal behavior in older depressed patients. Inpatients age 50 years or older (N =103) with major depression, 45 of whom had attempted suicide, were evaluated within 1 week of their hospital admission. Measures of suicidal behavior included suicide attempter status, the Suicide Intent Scale (SIS), ratings of method used (violent/nonviolent), and seriousness of injuries sustained (lethality). The Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) score measured cognitive impairment; covariates were age, gender, and living arrangement. The MMSE score was not associated with suicide attempter status, but for attempters, MMSE score showed a positive association with SIS score, but not method or lethality. Findings suggest that although cognitive disturbance may be associated ivith less-deliberate acts among older depressed suicide attempters, it does not appear to influence the potential lethality of their behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-320
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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