U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Comprehensive Psychiatry 55 (2014) 450–456


This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


Introduction: Individuals with multiple versus single suicide attempts present a more severe clinical picture and may be at greater risk for suicide. Yet group differences within military samples have been vastly understudied. Purpose: The objective is to determine demographic, diagnostic, and psychosocial differences, based on suicide attempt status, among military inpatients admitted for suicide-related events. Method: A retrospective chart review design was used with a total of 423 randomly selected medical records of psychiatric admissions to a military hospital from 2001 to 2006. Results: Chi-square analyses indicated that individuals with multiple versus single suicide attempts were significantly more likely to have documented childhood sexual abuse (p =.025); problem substance use (p = .001); mood disorder diagnosis (p = .005); substance disorder diagnosis (p =.050); personality disorder not otherwise specified diagnosis (p =.018); and Axis II traits or diagnosis (p = .038) when compared to those with a single attempt history. Logistic regression analyses showed that males with multiple suicide attempts were more likely to have problem substance use (p = .005) and a mood disorder diagnosis (p =.002), while females with a multiple attempt history were more likely to have a history of childhood sexual (p =.027). Discussion: Clinically meaningful differences among military inpatients with single versus multiple suicide attempts exist. Targeted Department of Defense suicide prevention and intervention efforts that address the unique needs of these two specific at-risk subgroups are additionally needed.