Online Program

A Retrospective Review of 100 Suicides in Phoenix, Arizona 2009 – 2012

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Shareh Ghani, MD, Magellan Healthcare, Phoenix, AZ

Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to review completed suicides among the Medicaid Population in Arizona to determine if there were any differences in the risk or protective factors for individuals diagnosed with a mental illness and who were in treatment.

Methods: We reviewed 100 consecutive suicides in a retrospective case study design to understand the characteristics of suicides in Phoenix, Arizona and to determine if other factors played a role in these deaths.  We examined the usual risk factors but also looked at means of suicide, number of prior suicide attempts, and precipitating events.  We reviewed support systems in place for the individuals, as well as adherence to treatment, last behavioral health or other medical provider visit, and recent hospitalizations or crisis interventions.

Results:  41% were females and 59%  were males of the 100 who took their lives.  70% saw a medical provider or Behavioral Health Medical Provider within 30 days of their completed suicide. 72% of females and 62% of males visited either a psychiatric ER or had an inpatient admission within 30 days of completing suicide. Based on clinical review of notes, we found that less than half of the individuals were adherent to their medications and/or treatment and demonstrated precipitating events in 82% of the sample within 30 days of the suicide.

Conclusions: Given these findings, it is imperative that resources be utilized in an effort to increase the detection of suicide risk factors and intervene during medical visits, both psychiatric, as well as non-psychiatric.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify those who are at risk for suicide and the importance of intervention and treatment at vulnerable times in the lives of those with mental illness.

Keyword(s): Suicide, Mental Health System

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a board certified psychiatrist, he has practiced inpatient psychiatry and consultation & liaison psychiatrist for many years. He worked as the Chief Medical Officer for Magellan Health Services for the Maricopa Medicaid contract in Phoenix, Arizona from 2010 through 2014 and led the Driving Suicides to Zero project development, implementation and tracking. He is now the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Solution Architect for Magellan’s Commercial Behavioral Health sector.
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.