Novel risk factors associated with current suicidal ideation and lifetime suicide attempts in individuals with spinal cord injury

Academic Article


  • Abstract Objective To determine unique associations of suicidal ideation (SI) and lifetime suicide attempts (SAs) in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). Design Cross-sectional analysis. Setting Outpatient. Participants Individuals with SCI (N=2533) who were 18 years or older with a history of traumatic SCI. Interventions None. Main Outcome Measures Any SI in the past 2 weeks (9-item Patient Health Questionnaire) and any lifetime SA. Results Three hundred twenty-three individuals (13.3%) reported SI in the past 2 weeks and 179 (7.4%) reported lifetime SA. After controlling for other factors, both lifetime SA and current SI were associated with study site and current level of depression. In addition, SA was associated with less education, younger age at injury, having current or past treatment of depression, and having bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. SI was associated with more years since injury and lifetime SA. Several psychological factors were associated with current SI and lifetime SAs, including lower environmental reward and less positive affect. In addition, control of one's community activities and spiritual well-being were associated with current SI. In bivariate comparisons, severity of SCI was also associated with the 47% of the SAs that occurred after injury. Conclusions Several unique associations of SI and lifetime SA in individuals with SCI were identified, including level of environmental reward and control, spiritual well-being, and severity of SCI. These factors bear further investigation as prospective risk factors for suicidal behavior after SCI.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McCullumsmith CB; Kalpakjian CZ; Richards JS; Forchheimer M; Heinemann AW; Richardson EJ; Wilson CS; Barber J; Temkin N; Bombardier CH
  • Start Page

  • 799
  • End Page

  • 808
  • Volume

  • 96
  • Issue

  • 5