PTSD symptoms among trauma-exposed adults admitted to inpatient psychiatry for suicide-related concerns. Academic Article uri icon


  • Individuals admitted to inpatient psychiatry for suicide-related concerns are at increased risk of suicide post-discharge, necessitating an understanding of factors, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that are associated with suicide-related hospitalizations. In this study, we examined if individuals admitted for suicide-related concerns were more likely than those admitted for other reasons to have elevated PTSD symptoms or a probable PTSD diagnosis. We also examined the moderating role of impulsivity. Participants were 188 trauma-exposed adult psychiatric inpatients (M [SD]age=33.6y [11.7y], 63.3% male, 46.3% white). We used the Life Events Checklist for DSM-5, PTSD Checklist for DSM-5, Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation, and Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 to assess trauma exposure, PTSD symptoms, suicidal ideation severity, and impulsivity, respectively. We controlled for trauma load, number of psychiatric diagnoses, and comorbid depressive and substance use disorders. Patients admitted for suicide-related concerns (55.3%; n=104), compared with those admitted for other reasons (44.7%; n=84), had more severe PTSD symptoms, corresponding to medium-to-large effect sizes; associations were stronger at higher levels of impulsivity. Additionally, patients admitted for suicide-related concerns were nearly four times more likely than their counterparts to screen positive for a provisional PTSD diagnosis. Among the subset of individuals admitted for suicide-related concerns, greater PTSD symptoms were associated with more severe suicidal ideation. In sum, PTSD symptoms are elevated among psychiatric inpatients admitted for suicide-related concerns, and among this subgroup, greater PTSD symptom severity covaries with suicidal ideation severity. Screening for and treating PTSD, and attending to cooccurring impulsivity, in psychiatric inpatients may reduce suicide risk.

published proceedings

  • J Psychiatr Res

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Stanley, I. H., Marx, B. P., Keane, T. M., & Vujanovic, A. A.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Stanley, Ian H||Marx, Brian P||Keane, Terence M||Vujanovic, Anka A

publication date

  • January 2021