Prevalence of Suicidality and its Association with Quality of Life in Older Patients with Clinically Stable Psychiatric Disorders in China During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Rui Liu, Xiuying Xu, Siyun Zou, Yulong Li, Huan Wang, Xiaona Yan, Xiangdong Du, Lan Zhang, Qinge Zhang, Wen Li, Teris Cheung, Gabor S. Ungvari, Chee H. Ng, Yu Tao Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: The pattern of suicidality in older patients with psychiatric disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic is not clear. This study examined the prevalence of suicidality and its association with quality of life (QOL) among older clinically stable patients with psychiatric disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A multicenter, cross-sectional study was conducted from May 22 to July 15, 2020, among four major tertiary psychiatric hospitals in China. Suicidality was assessed by asking 3 standardized questions. Depressive symptoms, pain, and QOL were assessed with the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), the numeric pain rating scale (NPRS), and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire-brief version, respectively. Results: A total of 1063 clinically stable patients participated and completed the assessment. The prevalence of suicidality was 11.8% (95% CI: 9.9%–13.7%) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that poor treatment adherence (P =.009, OR = 1.86, 95% CI: 1.17–2.96) and perceived illness worsening during the COVID-19 outbreak (P =.02, OR = 2.07, 95% CI: 1.15–3.73), being diagnosed with major depressive disorder (P <.001, OR = 2.79, 95% CI: 1.68–4.64), PHQ-9 total score (P <.001, OR = 1.20, 95% CI: 1.15–1.24) and NPRS total score (P =.002, OR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.06–1.29) were associated with higher risk of suicidality. After controlling for covariates, older psychiatric patients with suicidality had lower QOL compared to those without (F(1, 1063) =16.5, P<.001). Conclusions: Suicidality was common in older patients with clinically stable psychiatric disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering its negative impact on QOL and personal suffering, routine screening and preventive suicide measures should be implemented for older psychiatric patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-244
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

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