Journal Critique:Is There A Specific Relationship Between Childhood Sexual And Physical Abuse And Repeated Suicidal Behavior?

1186 words - 5 pages

Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect: The International JournalVolume 28, Issue 8, August 2004, Pages 863-875Is there a specific relationship between childhood sexual and physical abuse and repeated suicidal behavior?Mette Ystgaard, Ingbejorg Hestetun, Mitchell Leob, and Lars Mehlum PurposeStudies show that childhood sexual and physical abuses predict repeated suicide attempts and self-mutilation. Little is known about the importance of sexual and physical abuse when compared to other severe childhood adversities with respect to chronic suicidal behavior. The study presented in this journal was conducted in Oslo, Norway and attempts to assess the prevalence and relationship between abuse and suicide. The purpose of the article is to study the incidence of a wide range of severe childhood adverse experiences in a group of suicide attempters consecutively admitted to a general hospital by using the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse (CECA) interview schedule. The study also investigates if there is a specific relationship between childhood sexual abuse and repeated suicide attempts and self-mutilation when taking into account and adjusting for other severe childhood adverse experiences.MethodsThis is a retrospective study of suicide attempters that were consecutively admitted to a general hospital in Oslo, Norway over a period of 26 months. The study is part of a larger follow-up study where the patients were also interviewed one year after the intake interview.SampleSeventy-four subjects, 65% being women, were interviewed as part of the intake interview about prior suicide attempts and self-mutilation and received DSM-IV diagnoses. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, antipathy from parents, loss of parents, and severe discord in the family before the age of 18, were covered by the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse (CECA) interview schedule. Patients who had taken an overdose or deliberately injured themselves, reported suicide intent, and were older than 15 years of age, were included in the study. Patients were excluded if they were cognitively impaired or did not speak Norwegian.ProcedurePatients gave written informed consent to participate in the study. As part of the clinical routines, they were administered a semi-structured interview by a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse at the hospital and completed self-rating forms. Within 14 days after the suicide attempt, they had a lengthy interview, including CECA about their childhood history.MeasuresAdverse experiences before the age of 18 were covered by the CECA interview. Most of the scales in the standard CECA interview are scored as 4-point scales from 1 (marked) to 4 (little or none). Scores of 1 and 2 on the CECA 4-point scale are combined, and called severe neglect, antipathy, physical abuse, sexual abuse and discord in the family, respectively. Scores of 3 and 4 on the CECA 4-point scale are combined into mild or no such event. Neglect from parents or parent substitutes is...

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