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Publication Detail
Hallucinations as a risk marker for suicidal behaviour in individuals with a history of sexual assault: a general population study with instant replication
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Yates K, Lang U, Peters EM, Wigman JTW, Boyda D, McNicholas F, Cannon M, Alderson-Day B, Bloomfield M, Ramsay H, Kelleher I
  • Publisher:
    CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS
  • Publication date:
    14/06/2022
  • Journal:
    Psychological Medicine
  • Medium:
    Print-Electronic
  • Status:
    Accepted
  • Country:
    England
  • Print ISSN:
    0033-2917
  • PII:
    S0033291722001532
  • Language:
    English
  • Keywords:
    Hallucinations, psychosis, sexual assault, suicidal behaviour, trauma
  • Notes:
    Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Research has shown a strong relationship between hallucinations and suicidal behaviour in general population samples. Whether hallucinations also index suicidal behaviour risk in groups at elevated risk of suicidal behaviour, namely in individuals with a sexual assault history, remains to be seen. AIMS: We assessed whether hallucinations were markers of risk for suicidal behaviour among individuals with a sexual assault history. METHODS: Using the cross-sectional 2007 (N = 7403) and 2014 (N = 7546) Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Surveys, we assessed for an interaction between sexual assault and hallucinations in terms of the odds of suicide attempt, as well as directly comparing the prevalence of suicide attempt in individuals with a sexual assault history with v. without hallucinations. RESULTS: Individuals with a sexual assault history had increased odds of hallucinations and suicide attempt compared to individuals without a sexual assault history in both samples. There was a significant interaction between sexual assault and hallucinations in terms of the odds of suicide attempt. In total, 14-19% of individuals with a sexual assault history who did not report hallucinations had one or more suicide attempt. This increased to 33-52% of individuals with a sexual assault history who did report hallucinations (2007, aOR = 2.85, 1.71-4.75; 2014, aOR = 4.52, 2.78-7.35). CONCLUSIONS: Hallucinations are a risk marker for suicide attempt even among individuals with an elevated risk of suicidal behaviour, specifically individuals with a sexual assault history. This finding highlights the clinical significance of hallucinations with regard to suicidal behaviour risk, even among high-risk populations.
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