Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Institute of Living. Burlingame Center for Psychiatric Research and Education, Anxiety disorders-Patients-Suicidal behavior, Depressed persons-Suicidal behavior, Anxiety, Depression, Suicide, Suicidality


The purpose of this study was to examine if anxiety diagnoses were associated with increased risk for suicidality and to examine if comorbid anxiety and depression diagnoses have a synergistic effect on suicidality. In a sub-analysis, we assessed associations between anxiety and/or depression symptoms (versus diagnoses) with suicidality in order to inform a future study. Completed at the Burlingame Center for Psychiatric Research and Education at the Institute of Living (IOL) in Hartford, CT, this quantitative, cross-sectional study involved 20,823 adult inpatients admitted for psychiatric care from 2000-2009. Estimates of effects calculated were odds ratios (ORs) qualified at 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Descriptive, bivariate, and stratified statistics were utilized in the study. Through analysis of two-way interactions, we judged evidence of synergism or antagonism. Finally, we constructed binary logistic regression models to assess the anxiety - suicidality association. We found that anxiety and depression diagnoses were associated with approximately 40% and 160% increased risk of suicidality after controlling for demographic and clinical confounders. Furthermore, our analysis provided evidence that the effects on risk of suicidality of these two diagnostic groups were independent, neither synergistic nor antagonistic in this population. Preliminary analyses suggest that anxiety symptom information may be a better predictor of suicidality than the presence of a DSM-IV diagnosis. Additional research is warranted to examine the nature of anxiety symptoms that precede suicidal behaviors and to examine if symptom clusters work synergistically to increase suicidal risk as well as what symptom clusters present the greatest suicidal risk.




v, 53 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)- Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 43-47)