Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Qualitative analysis of hospital patient narratives of warning signs on the day of their suicide attempt.

Conner KR, Kearns JC, Denneson LM. Qualitative analysis of hospital patient narratives of warning signs on the day of their suicide attempt. General hospital psychiatry. 2022 Nov 9; 79:146-151.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: Research on warning signs, defined as acute risk factors for suicide or suicide attempt, has been slow due to the difficulty of examining the hours and minutes preceding suicidal behavior. This study sought to identify new warning signs and to re-examine warning signs that have been proposed. METHOD: Narrative stories of adult patients with substance use problems hospitalized following a suicide attempt were transcribed. The narrative segments describing the 24-h period prior to suicide attempt were examined with directed qualitative content analysis using codes based on prior literature and new codes developed inductively. RESULTS: The sample (N  =  35) was mean age  =  40, 51% female, and 49% White non-Hispanic. Analysis of the transcripts of the 24-h periods (M word count  =  637) yielded a broad range of cognitive (e.g., cognitive disturbance such as rumination), behavioral (e.g., alcohol use), emotional (e.g., dramatic mood changes), and social (e.g., social withdrawal) warning signs, along with a small number of cognitions and behaviors that appeared to mark a dangerous shift to acute preparation and intent for attempt, for example ''self-persuasion to attempt suicide.'' CONCLUSION: We posit that a broad range of cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and social warning signs increase acute risk for suicidal behavior by creating the conditions for a shift to acute preparation and intent, a highly potent category of warning signs.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.