Suicidal ideation and behavior among people who own guns compared to non-gun owners can be less likely to be detected by screening tools.
Researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey study examining patterns of passive and active suicidal ideation, suicidal planning, and suicidal behavior among gun owners and non-gun owners. These outcomes were measured by the Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors Interview-Revised (SITBI-R).
9,153 people responded to an online survey between March 2020 and April 2020. Of the total participants, 30.3% (n=2773) owned a firearm. All participants were assigned to classes based on posterior probabilities through simple latent class analysis.
The results indicate that the likelihood of approval of the SITBI-R item differed across subgroups between firearm owners and non-firearm owners. Owners of class 4 firearms had the highest likelihood of non-fatal suicide attempts in the past month, with 16.8% of those people seeking help and 27.2% starting before to change your mind. This subgroup also had the highest likelihood of endorsing thoughts about specific ways or methods to attempt suicide and preparatory behavior (100% in both cases).
Among non-firearm owners, the highest likelihood of non-fatal suicide attempts was observed in group 5, with 14.9% asking for help and 29.7% starting before changing hands. ‘notice. The highest likelihood of characteristics for this group included endorsement of passive suicidal ideation (84.0%-100%), active suicidal thoughts (86.7% to 95.0%), thoughts about specific ways or methods to attempt suicide (97.4%) and a specific place to attempt suicide (92.1%).
“In this study, in subgroups with lower probabilities of suicide attempt, gun owners and non-gun owners showed similar patterns of endorsement of suicide risk items, but when the likelihood of a suicide attempt increased, gun owners were less likely than non-gun owners to endorse passive and active suicidal ideation,” the researchers concluded.
“These findings suggest that assessing a wider range of suicide risk indicators may improve risk detection.”
Bryan CJ, Bryan AO, Wastler H, et al. Assessment of latent subgroups with suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior among gun owners and non-gun owners owners in the United States. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(5):e2211510. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.11510