Assessment and management of hospitalized suicidal patients

Mark Anthony Lynch, Patricia B. Howard, Peggy El-Mallakh, Joanne M. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Suicide in inpatient psychiatric settings is a critical problem. A comprehensive literature review was performed to determine risk factors for inpatient suicide, instruments for assessing suicide, and treatment of hospitalized suicidal patients. Findings suggested that root causes of inpatient suicide were factors related to the treatment environment, failure to assess patient behavioral characteristics, and staff reliance on no-suicide contracts. Recommendations include assessing suicide risk regularly throughout hospitalization, including on admission, during changes in a patient's mental or physical status, after a change in observation level, and before discharge. Orientation and inservice education for all staff and additional research on the psychometric properties of available suicide assessment instruments are also essential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Psychiatric Mental Health


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