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Assessment of Patients Who Attempt Suicide

Yasuhiro Kishi, M.D., and Roger G. Kathol, M.D.

Suicidal behavior is influenced in varying degrees by biological, personal, and social factors. Identifying 4 common reasons for suicidal acts (psychosis, major depression, philosophical reasons, and poor impulse control) can be very helpful in evaluating suicidal patients quickly and making decisions about how patients should be treated. Educating the general public and primary care physicians about these reasons while addressing biological, personal, and social factors that contribute to them can improve understanding of suicidal behavior and patient involvement in and adherence to the treatment process.

(Primary Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2002;4:132-136)

Received July 7, 2002; accepted Aug. 20, 2002. From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (Dr. Kishi); Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Eagan (Drs. Kishi and Kathol); and the Department of Psychiatry, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan (Dr. Kishi).

This work was supported in part by a grant from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Tokyo (Dr. Kishi).

Corresponding author and reprints: Yasuhiro Kishi, M.D., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Route 4-72, 3400 Yankee Dr., Eagan, MN 55121-1627 (e-mail: