206824 Relationship of Sleep Disturbances to Suicide and Suicidality in Women Exposed to Partner Violence

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 11:30 AM

Wilfred R. Pigeon, PhD , Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Catherine Cerulli, JD, PhD , Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Suicide and suicidality occur at elevated rates in persons with a depressive disorder and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sleep disturbances are ubiquitous among patients with depression and/or PTSD and their relationships are well-established. There are also limited reports suggesting a relationship between sleep disturbances and suicide, although they have typically not used well-validated assessments of insomnia. We report on a prospective study that assessed sleep, depression, PTSD and suicidality among a cohort of ethnically diverse and socioeconomically disadvantaged women presenting to a family court to obtain protective orders related to partner violence. Insomnia was assessed by the Insomnia Severity Index, nightmares were assessed from 2 items related to nightmare frequency and severity, and sleep avoidance and nocturnal vigilance were assessed by the Fear of Sleep Inventory. There was a significant association between suicidality and both nightmares and the fear of sleep construct at baseline. Additional data addressing whether any of the sleep disturbances at baseline are associated with ongoing suicidality at a 6 month follow-up will be presented. Discussion will include the utility and feasibility of screening for sleep disturbances and providing sleep-specific interventions as part of suicide prevention efforts in this and other traumatized populations.

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss relationships between PTSD and sleep disturbances. 2) Identify relationships between trauma, PTSD and sleep disturbances. 3) Identify measures for sleep disturbances. 4) Describe patterns of symptom severity over time. 5) Discuss evidence and need for screening for sleep disturbances among returning Veterans.

Keywords: Suicide, Veterans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: N/A

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Experience conducting research and presenting results.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Mental Health and Trauma
See more of: Mental Health