Psychotic symptoms predict suicidal behavior postdischarge in high risk psychiatric inpatients

Shira Barzilay, Krystel Assounga, Hae Joon Kim, Elvira Rudner, Zimri Yaseen, Igor Galynker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Psychotic disorders, as well as psychotic symptoms, are associated with a greater lifetime risk of suicidal behavior (SB). It is not known, however, whether psychotic symptoms are independent predictors for short-term SB. Methods: Data were collected from 201 psychiatric inpatients at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital. Self-reported psychotic symptoms were assessed using the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). Postdischarge SB defined as an aborted, interrupted, or actual suicide attempt was assessed using the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), during the 4 to 8 weeks following discharge from an inpatient psychiatric unit (n = 127, 63% retention). Logistic regressions were performed to assess the relationships between psychotic symptoms and SB, controlling for primary psychiatric disorders. Results: Self-reported psychotic symptoms were associated with subsequent postdischarge SB. There was no significant difference between the SB versus no SB groups on the basis of primary psychiatric disorder. Self-reported psychotic symptoms remained an independent and significant predictor of postdischarge SB when the analysis controlled for primary psychiatric disorder. Conclusions: These results suggest that psychotic symptoms are a dimensional predictor of near-term postdischarge SB and are a necessary component of suicide risk assessment during inpatient hospitalization, independent of psychiatric diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-426
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Imminent suicide
  • Psychosis
  • Psychotic disorder
  • Psychotic symptoms
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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