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Original Research

Six-Month Clinical and Ecological Momentary Assessment Follow-Up of Patients at High Risk of Suicide: A Survival Analysis

Alejandro Porras-Segovia, MD, PhDa,b,‡; Manon Moreno, MSa,c,‡; María Luisa Barrigón, MD, PhDa,c,d; Jorge López Castroman, MD, PhDe; Philippe Courtet, MD, PhDf; Sofian Berrouiguet, MDg; Antonio Artés-Rodríguez, PhDh; and Enrique Baca-García, MD, PhDa–e,i–l,*

Published: December 14, 2022


Objective: In this study, we combined ecological momentary assessment (EMA) with traditional clinical follow-up to explore correlates of suicidal relapse in patients with a history of suicidal behavior.

Methods: Over 6 months, we followed up with 393 patients who completed baseline and follow-up interviews and were monitored through smartphone-based EMA via the MEmind app. Recruitment was conducted between February 2018 and March 2020. We recorded the occurrence of clinical suicidal events and EMA suicidal events, the latter defined as extreme scores on questions on passive suicide ideation.

Results: Fifteen percent of participants had a new clinical suicidal event during follow-up (9.2% suicide attempt [SA]; 5.9% emergency referral for suicidal ideation [SI]). Of the 319 participants who installed the MEmind app, 20.7% presented with EMA suicidal events. EMA suicidal events were statistically significantly associated with clinical suicidal events at 2-month follow-up but not at 6-month follow-up. In the Cox multivariate regression model, 5 factors were independently associated with clinical suicidal events: number of previous SAs, SA in the past year, SA in the past month (risk factors), female gender, and age (protective factors).

Conclusions: Our study confirms some of the risk factors classically associated with risk of suicide reattempt, such as history of suicidal behavior, while questioning others, such as female gender. Risk factors associated with EMA events differed from risk factors associated with traditional clinical suicide events, supporting the existence of distinct suicidal phenotypes.

Volume: 84

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