Prevalence of suicidality in clinically stable patients with major depressive disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ling Zhang, Hong Cai, Wei Bai, Si Yun Zou, Ke Xin Feng, Yu Chen Li, Huan Zhong Liu, Xiangdong Du, Zhen Tao Zeng, Chang Mou Lu, Lan Zhang, Wen Fang Mi, Yan Hong Ding, Juan Juan Yang, Todd Jackson, Teris Cheung, Zhaohui Su, Feng Rong An, Yu Tao Xiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with an increased risk of mental health problems including suicide in many subpopulations, but its influence on stable patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) has been studied fleetingly. This study examined the one-year prevalence of suicidality including suicidal ideation (SI), suicide plans (SP), and suicide attempts (SA) as well as their correlates in clinically stable MDD patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A cross-sectional, observational study was conducted between October 1, 2020, and October 15, 2021, in six tertiary psychiatric hospitals. Socio-demographic information, clinical data and one-year prevalence of suicidality were recorded. Results: Altogether, 1718 participants who met the eligibility criteria were included. The overall one-year prevalence of suicidality during the COVID-19 pandemic was 68.04% (95% confidence intervals (CI) =65.84–70.25%), with one-year SI prevalence of 66.4% (95%CI = 64.18–68.65%), SP prevalence of 36.26% (95%CI = 33.99–38.54%), and SA prevalence of 39.35% (95%CI = 37.04–41.66%). Binary logistic regression analyses revealed male gender, married marital status, college education level and above and age were negatively associated with risk of suicidality. Urban residence, unemployed work status, experiences of cyberbullying, a history of suicide among family members or friends, and more severe fatigue, physical pain, and residual depressive symptoms were positively associated with risk of suicidality. Conclusions: Suicidality is common among clinically stable MDD patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regular suicide screening and preventive measures should be provided to clinically stable MDD patients during the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-148
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume307
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Suicidality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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