Research

Effect of telephone contact on further suicide attempts in patients discharged from an emergency department: randomised controlled study

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7552.1241 (Published 25 May 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1241
  1. Guillaume Vaiva, psychiatrist (gvaiva{at}chru-lille.fr)1,
  2. Guillaume Vaiva, psychiatrist2,
  3. François Ducrocq, psychiatrist1,
  4. Philippe Meyer, psychiatrist4,
  5. Daniel Mathieu, professor of crisis care medicine1,
  6. Alain Philippe, researcher in sociodemography3,
  7. Christian Libersa, professor of pharmacology1,
  8. Michel Goudemand, professor of psychiatry1
  1. 1 University Hospital of Lille, School of Medicine, France
  2. 2 University Hospital of Lille, School of Medicine, 6 rue du Professeur Laguesse, 59037 Lille cedex, France; Institut National de la Santé Et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM U513), School of Medicine, Créteil, France
  3. 3 INSERM U513, School of Medicine, Créteil, France
  4. 4 General Hospital of Valenciennes, France
  1. Correspondence to: G Vaiva
  • Accepted 8 March 2006

Abstract

Objective To determine the effects over one year of contacting patients by telephone one month or three months after being discharged from an emergency department for deliberate self poisoning compared with usual treatment.

Design Multicentre, randomised controlled trial.

Setting 13 emergency departments in the north of France.

Participants 605 people discharged from an emergency department after attempted suicide by deliberate self poisoning.

Intervention The intervention consisted of contacting patients by telephone at one month or three months after discharge from an emergency department for attempted suicide to evaluate the success of recommended treatment or to adjust treatment. Control patients received treatment as usual, in most cases referral back to their general practitioner.

Main outcome measures The primary outcome measures were proportion of participants who reattempted suicide, number of deaths by suicide, and losses to follow-up at 13 months' follow-up. Secondary outcome measures were types and number of contacts with health care.

Results On an intention to treat basis, the three groups did not differ significantly for further suicide attempts, deaths by suicide, or losses to follow-up: contact at one month (intervention 23% (34/147) v controls 30% (93/312), difference 7%, 95% confidence interval − 2% to 15%), three months (25% (36/146) v 30%, difference 5%, − 4% to 14%). Participants contacted at one month were less likely at follow-up to report having reattempted suicide (12% v 22% in control group, difference 10%, 2% to 18%).

Conclusion Contacting people by telephone one month after being discharged from an emergency department for deliberate self poisoning may help reduce the number of reattempted suicides over one year.

Footnotes

  • Funding This study was funded by a hospital clinical research grant (PHRC98), a state region contract plan, a subsidy from the regional hospitalization agency,.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethical approval This study was approved by the ethical committee of the University Hospital Centre of Lille (CCPPRB 98/33).

View Full Text

Sign in

Log in through your institution

Subscribe