Family history of suicidal behaviour: prevalence and significance in deliberate self-harm patients.
Hawton K., Haw C., Houston K., Townsend E.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether there are differences between the characteristics of deliberate self-harm (DSH) patients with and without a family history of suicidal behaviour. METHOD: In 146 DSH patients, those with and without a positive family history were compared with regard to the nature and repetition of their DSH episodes, and psychological and psychiatric characteristics. RESULTS: Fifty-two (35.6%) patients had a family history of suicidal behaviour. DSH was more frequent in patients' mothers (17.1%) than fathers (2.7%). Patients with a family history of suicidal behaviour, especially females, had higher state anger scores. CONCLUSION: Family history of suicidal behaviour appears to be associated with greater anger. Absence of other associations suggests that family history probably has less implication for individuals who have already engaged in DSH than in contributing to its initiation. Future studies should include patients with violent or life-threatening DSH acts.