More doctor visits lead to fewer suicide attempts for fibromyalgia patients

ScienceDaily | 9/19/2018 | Staff
rach-rach (Posted by) Level 3
Patients who did not attempt suicide were at the doctor an average of 50 hours per year versus less than one hour per year for the group who committed self-harm, according to lead author Lindsey McKernan, PhD, assistant professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

"Fifty hours versus one hour -- that's a staggering difference," McKernan said. "They might have been at one appointment in a year and this disorder, fibromyalgia, takes a lot to manage. It takes a lot of engagement."

Doctors - Patients - Times - Suicide - Population

Doctors already know that fibromyalgia patients are 10 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population, but this study is the first to successfully apply machine learning to reliably detect suicide risk n fibromyalgia patients and also to explain that risk in clinically meaningful ways, according to senior author Colin Walsh, MD, MA, assistant professor of Biomedical Informatics.

"The study suggests a possible path for intervention," Walsh said. "Perhaps we can connect those individuals to an outpatient provider, or providers, to improve their care and reduce their suicide risk. We also might see patients at-risk establish meaningful relationships with providers whom they can contact in times of crisis."

Walsh - Average - Point - Thoughts - Hours

Walsh said, on average, those who presented at some point with suicidal thoughts spent 1.7 hours in clinic per person per year while those who did not present with suicidal thoughts were in clinic on average 5.9 hours per person per year.

The difference was even more substantial for those who presented with suicide attempts: less than one hour per year in clinic for attempters and over 50 hours per year on average for non-attempters, he said.

Case-control - Study - Health - Record - EHR

The case-control study looked at large-scale electronic health record (EHR) data collected from 1998-2017, including 8,879 individuals with fibromyalgia, with 34 known suicide attempts and 96 documented cases of suicidal thoughts, examining factors...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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