A glance at the safe: suicide prevention in private psychiatric practice. A retrospective study.

Fátima Gysin, François Gysin


The presence and importance of the theme suicide as it appears in the full time private psychiatric practice of one psychiatrist is evaluated in a retrospective quantitative study. Of the decade 1995-2005 of private clinical practice one year, 2003, was selected its data analyzed for 40% of all patients followed in 2003. The treatment of the simple patients was covered by a specific health insurance that had a contractual link to the psychiatrist. Prevalence and incidence of suicidality as a theme were established on the background of the caracteristics of the clinical activity in the examined psychiatric office: diagnostics, number of visits and duration of treatment. A third of this ambulatory population in private psychiatric office showed suicidal ideation and fantasies. One in ten patients had more serious sucidal risk. Suicidality was significatively correlated with the presence of a depressive mood disorder. In depressed patients the suicidal theme was three times more frequente compared with other patients. The frequent presence of the suicide figure in the context of private psychiatric consultation contrasts with the fact that suicidal acts are rare. Psychiatric response to suicidal ideation in the context of private practice is an efficient prevention when certain conditions are fullfilled concerning accessability, duration and frequence of the consultations.

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