Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
https://trends.org.br/article/doi/10.1590/2237-6089-2017-0149
Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Original Article

Suicidal patients in a psychiatric emergency unit: clinical characteristics and aggression profile

Pacientes suicidas em uma unidade de emergência psiquiátrica: características clínicas e perfil de agressão

Vítor Crestani Calegaro; Cleonice Zatti; Andre Goettems Bastos; Lucia Helena Machado Freitas

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Abstract

Abstract Objective To explore and describe a profile of patients admitted to a psychiatric emergency facility, comparing patients with and without a recent suicide attempt in terms of their clinical characteristics and aggression. Methods This was an exploratory comparative study where patients were assessed using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and the Overt Aggression Scale (OAS). Participants with a suicide attempt in the last 24 hours (SA) were compared to participants with a prior history of suicide attempt but no recent attempt (PHSA). Results 63 individuals (SA: 26; PHSA: 37) were selected. Both groups had similar demographic and clinical characteristics. The most prevalent diagnoses were mood (57.1%) and personality (50.8%) disorders. The majority of patients in both groups had a history of aggression episodes. Physical aggression in the week prior to admission was more prevalent in the PHSA group (51.4 vs. 19.2%, p = 0.017). The PHSA group also presented higher activation scores (p = 0.025), while the SA group presented higher affect scores on BPRS dimensions (p = 0.002). Conclusion The majority of individuals with a history of suicide attempt also presented a history of aggression. Inpatients with recent suicide attempt were hospitalized mainly due to the risk of suicide, while those with no recent suicide attempt were hospitalized mainly due to the risk of hetero-aggression. These findings support the hypothesis of an aggressive profile in suicidal patients and may open up a path for future research.

Keywords

Suicide attempt, aggression, public health

Resumo

Resumo Objetivo Explorar e descrever o perfil de pacientes internados em uma unidade de emergência psiquiátrica, comparando os pacientes com e sem tentativa recente de suicídio em termos de suas características clínicas e agressividade. Métodos Trata-se de um estudo exploratório comparativo, onde os pacientes foram avaliados por meio da Escala Breve de Avaliação Psiquiátrica (BPRS) e da Escala de Agressividade Declarada (OAS). Os participantes com tentativa de suicídio (TS) nas últimas 24 horas foram comparados com participantes com história prévia de tentativa de suicídio, mas sem tentativa recente (HPTS). Resultados Foram selecionados 63 indivíduos (TS: 26; HPTS: 37). Ambos os grupos tinham características demográficas e clínicas semelhantes. Os diagnósticos mais prevalentes foram transtornos de humor (57,1%) e de personalidade (50,8%). A maioria dos pacientes em ambos os grupos apresentava história de agressão. A agressão física na semana anterior à internação foi mais prevalente no grupo HPTS (51,4 vs. 19,2%, p = 0,017). O grupo HPTS também apresentou maior ativação (p = 0,025), enquanto o grupo TS apresentou maior afetividade nas dimensões da BPRS (p = 0,002). Conclusão A maioria dos indivíduos com história de tentativa de suicídio também apresentou história de agressão. Os pacientes internados com tentativa recente de suicídio foram hospitalizados principalmente devido ao risco de suicídio, enquanto aqueles sem tentativa recente de suicídio foram hospitalizados principalmente devido ao risco de heteroagressão. Esses achados apoiam a hipótese de um perfil agressivo em pacientes suicidas e podem abrir caminho para pesquisas futuras.

Palavras-chave

Tentativa de suicídio, agressão, saúde pública

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