International Psychogeriatrics



Clinical Practice and Service Development

Suicide in Later Life: Psychological Autopsy Findings


Yeates Conwell a1, Kurt Olsen a2, Eric D. Caine a3 and Catherine Flannery a3
a1 UR-NIMH Clinical Research Center for the Study of Psychopathology of the Elderly (CRC/PE), University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York, U.S.A.
a2 Department of Psychology, Union College, Schenectady, New York, U.S.A.
a3 CRC/PE, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York, U.S.A.

Article author query
conwell y   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
olsen k   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
caine e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
flannery c   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

The authors report preliminary data from a psychological autopsy study of completed suicide in late life. Sixteen of 18 victims had diagnosable psychopathology, most commonly major depression of late onset. Symptoms manifest prior to death are described and directions for future investigation discussed. The psychological autopsy is shown to be a viable method for studying suicide in the elderly.



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