Objectives: The objective of the study was to describe the prevalence of recent suicidal ideation and behavior in adult patients admitted to a tertiary epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) and to assess the difference between patients with epileptic seizures, psychogenic nonepileptic spells (PNES), and other inpatient populations. Results: Over the 14-month period, 316 patients were included in the study. One hundred and seventy-nine (57%) were classified as having epilepsy (ES), 116 (37%) with PNES, and 21 (7%) with comorbid ES and PNES (ES/PNES). Overall, 25 patients (8%) were screened positive for suicide risk factors (recent suicidal ideation and/or suicidal behavior). Patients admitted to the EMU had double the risk of suicide ideation and behavior when compared with other inpatient populations. There was no significant difference in the risk of suicidal ideation and behavior among patients with ES, PNES, and comorbid ES/PNES. Patients with comorbid ES/PNES had the highest risk (14%), although this did not reach statistical significance. Across all groups, patients with any comorbid psychiatric disorder had increased rates of suicidal ideation and behavior (11% vs 5%, p = 0.04). Conclusions: The rate of suicidal ideation and behavior in this sample of EMU patients was higher compared with other inpatient populations. The presence of a psychiatric disorder was independently associated with a higher risk. There was no statistically significant difference in the risk between those with ES and PNES. Screening for suicide risk, suicidal ideation, and behavior is recommended for all patients admitted to the EMU.
- Patients with epilepsy
- Psychogenic nonepileptic spells
- Screen Version, Recent C-SSRS
- Suicide risk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Behavioral Neuroscience