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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health