Bullying and Suicide Risk among Pediatric Emergency Department Patients
Published Date:Jun 2016
Source:Pediatr Emerg Care. 32(6):347-351.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4808508
Funding:K01 MH069948/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 CE002129/CE/NCIPC CDC HHS/United States
R01 MH093552/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
Z01 MH002912-01/Intramural NIH HHS/United States
To describe the association between recent bullying victimization and risk of suicide among pediatric emergency department (ED) patients.
Patients presenting to one of three different urban pediatric EDs with either medical/surgical or psychiatric chief complaints completed structured interviews as part of a study to develop a suicide risk screening instrument, the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ). Seventeen candidate items and the criterion reference Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire (SIQ) were administered to patients ages 10 to 21 years. Bullying victimization was assessed by a single candidate item (“In the past few weeks, have you been bullied or picked on so much that you felt like you couldn't stand it anymore?”).
A total of 524 patients completed the interview (34.4% psychiatric chief complaints; 56.9% female; 50.4% white, non-Hispanic; mean age 15.2±2.6 years). Sixty patients (11.5%) reported recent bullying victimization, and of these, 33 (55.0%) screened positive for suicide risk on the ASQ or the previously validated SIQ. After controlling for demographic and clinical variables, including a history of depression and drug use, the odds of screening positive for suicide risk were significantly greater in patients who reported recent bullying victimization (adjusted odds ratio=3.19, 95% CI=1.66-6.11). After stratification by chief complaint, this association persisted for medical/surgical patients but not for psychiatric patients.
Recent bullying victimization was associated with increased odds of screening positive for elevated suicide risk among pediatric emergency department patients presenting with medical/surgical complaints. Understanding this important correlate of suicide risk in pediatric emergency department patients may help inform ED-based suicide prevention interventions.
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