Courtney Bagge, Ph.D.

Courtney Bagge, Ph.D.

Courtney Bagge, Ph.D., University of Mississippi Medical Center

Pilot Research Grant (2009): $29,320

Alcohol as an Acute Risk Factor for Suicide Attempts: A Case-Crossover Pilot Study

 

 

Abstract: Given the clinical and public health significance of suicide, there is considerable interest in identifying acute factors that increase the risk for suicide attempts. As such, the aim of the current research is to characterize the role of acute alcohol use within suicide attempts. It is well recognized that drinking often surrounds suicide attempts; approximately 40% of adult suicide attempters ingest alcohol prior to their attempt. However, the majority of research on drinking and suicide is descriptive in nature, and, thus, cannot speak to their relation. The aim of this study is to determine whether suicide attempters are more likely to drink on the day of their attempt compared to a day when they did not attempt suicide, taking into account other factors that vary from day-to-day. Eighty individuals presenting for medical evaluation after a suicide attempt will complete a battery of questionnaires and interviews assessing participants’ experiences, substance use, and mood during the 48 hours prior to their suicide attempt. Analysis of this data will test the unique role of proximal alcohol use in suicide attempts. It is anticipated that the pilot study’s results will help fill an important gap in our knowledge and inform suicide prevention efforts.