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Recent sexual abuse, physical abuse, and suicide attempt in men

Tiet QQ, Ilgen M, Finney J, Moos R. Recent sexual abuse, physical abuse, and suicide attempt in men. Paper presented at: American Psychological Association Annual Convention; 2005 Aug 1; Washington, DC.

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Objectives: This study examines the rates of sexual and physical abuse and suicide attempts in male (n = 33,236) and female (n = 1,009) patients, and focuses on the unique associations of sexual and physical abuse with recent suicide attempt in men. Methods: A cohort of 34,245 patients (19 - 65+ years old) seeking treatment from all Department of Veterans Affairs substance use disorder treatment settings nationwide was interviewed using the Addiction Severity Index, about lifetime and recent sexual and physical abuse and recent suicide attempts (in the past 30 days). Results: Female patients had a higher odds ratio of being sexually (OR > 9) and physically (OR > 4) abused than male patients. For male patients, bivariate analyses showed that those who had been recently sexually or physically abused had a higher odds ratio of attempting suicide (OR of 4.8 and 3, respectively). Multivariate logistic regression analyses indicated that recent sexual abuse, recent physical abuse, and lifetime sexual abuse were significantly associated with a higher likelihood of recent suicide attempt among male patients, after controlling for demographic and diagnostic factors. Conclusions: Female patients are more likely to have been sexually and physically abused than their male counterparts. Recent and lifetime history of sexual abuse and recent physical abuse are independent risk factors for suicide attempt in the past 30 days in men seeking treatment for substance use and/or psychiatric disorders. Clinicians who identify suicide attempts/tendencies in male patients should routinely assess for abuse to tailor interventions to address the unique problems of these patients.

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