People who experience acute or chronic pain are at increased risk for thinking about killing someone else and then killing themselves, according to a new study.
Previous research has found that pain patients are at increased risk for suicide, most likely because they’re more prone to depression. The current study is the first to link pain with thoughts of homicide–suicide.
“We found that about 4.4% of patients in rehabilitation for chronic pain had some ideation about homicide–suicide,” said co-author Daniel Bruns, PsyD, a psychologist practicing in Greeley, Colo. This was more than twice as many as in the control group.
The study, which was presented as a poster at the 2010 annual scientific meeting of the American Pain Society in Baltimore (Poster 144), included 2,264 people at 106 sites across the United States. Participants filled out the Battery for Health Improvement 2 (BHI 2) questionnaire and were asked to respond to a number of statements about suicide and violence, including, “If I was going to kill myself, I would take somebody else with me.”
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