Reasons for Living and Dying in Suicide Attempters: A Two-year Prospective Study

Brüdern, Juliane; Stähli, Annabarbara; Gysin-Maillart, Anja; Michel, Konrad; Reisch, Thomas; Jobes, David A.; Brodbeck, Jeannette (2018). Reasons for Living and Dying in Suicide Attempters: A Two-year Prospective Study. BMC psychiatry, 18(1), pp. 1-9. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12888-018-1814-8

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Background: The aim of this study was to explore Reasons for Living (RFL) and Reasons for Dying (RFD) of suicide attempters and their association with current and future suicidal ideation and behavior. Method: The sample consisted of 60 patients who were admitted at a psychiatric emergency unit in Switzerland following an attempted suicide. They received treatment as usual, participated in an assessment interview and completed self-report questionnaires including written RFL and RFD responses, depressive symptoms, and suicide ideation at baseline and 6, 12 and 24 months follow-ups. Outcome measures were suicide ideation and repeated suicide attempts. Multiple imputations were used in order to address missing data. Results: The number of RFD responses was the strongest predictor for increased suicide ideation at baseline. The number of RFL responses was not associated with suicide ideation and reattempts. RFD, depressive symptoms, and baseline suicide ideation predicted subsequent suicide reattempt up to 12 months later in simple regression analyses. Mediation analyses suggested that RFD mediated the effect of depressive symptoms at baseline on suicide ideation at 12-months follow-up. Conclusion: RFL were unrelated to the mental health of study participants and did not function as protective factor against suicide risk. RFD may be an important motivational driver in the suicidal process. Clinical interventions should focus more on the reduction of RFD than on RFL in suicidal individuals.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Stähli, Annabarbara; Gysin-Maillart, Anja Carolyn; Michel, Konrad; Reisch, Thomas and Brodbeck, Jeannette


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




BioMed Central




Melanie Best

Date Deposited:

11 Oct 2018 16:49

Last Modified:

30 Mar 2020 14:34

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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