Sánchez-Teruel D, Robles-Bello MA (2019) Predicting Suicide Attempt Risk in Older Adults. J Geriatr Med Gerontol 5:066.


© 2019 Sánchez-Teruel D, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

RESEARCH ARTICLE | OPEN ACCESS DOI: 10.23937/2469-5858/1510066

Predicting Suicide Attempt Risk in Older Adults

David Sánchez-Teruel1* and María Auxiliadora Robles-Bello2

1Department of Psychology, Area of Personality, Assessment and Treatment, Faculty of Education Sciences, University of Córdoba (Spain)

2Department of Psychology, Area of Developmental Psychology and Education, Faculty of Humanities and Education Sciences, University of Jaén, Spain



Suicide attempts double death by suicide rates. To date it remains the only behavior that predicts more harmful future reattempts or deaths from suicide. However, few studies have analyzed the sociodemographic and clinical profiles of older adults who have suffered self-inflicted injuries or attempted suicide.


To assess which sociodemographic and clinical variables are more predictive of a high-lethality or definitive future suicide reattempt in older adults who have suffered self-inflicted injuries or previous suicide attempts.


Digital data logged by emergency departments on people aged 50 and overadmitted for self-inflicted injuries or suicide attempt were collected.


The binary logistic regression analysis revealed the group of variables most predictive of suicide attempt as being female (OR = 2.70; 95% CI), aged between 61 and 90 years (OR = 6.99; 95% CI), widowed (OR = 3.12; 95% CI), with a pre-existing depressive condition (OR = 3.95; 95% CI) and physical pathologies (OR = 4.98; 95% CI), resorting to single methods (OR = 4.72; 95% CI), and usually discharged from emergency departments (OR = 6.89; 95% CI).


There is an urgent need for specific healthcare protocols designed to prevent suicide attempts, adapted to the psychosocial characteristics of this age group. Improvements to social and healthcare warning actions for older adults exhibiting suicide risk profiles also need to be made.