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Approved research

Personality and mental health characteristics of people attempting or dying from suicide

Principal Investigator: Dr Lloyd Balbuena
Approved Research ID: 18046
Approval date: May 1st 2016

Lay summary

The first research question is if personality (especially neuroticism) is a risk factor for suicide or attempted suicide. The second question is to examine whether characteristics related to family history, personality, mental health, substance use, and hospitalization predict suicidality. Our theoretical framework is that traits, on-going habits, and recent events all contribute to suicidality, but the unavailability of large, longitudinal data has not helped to clarify the relative importance of each factor. We will also examine the association of smoking with suicide or attempted suicide. The literature is growing on this topic but the results reported are inconsistent. Biobank is intended to be a resource for health researchers investigating disease mechanisms and potential treatments to make future lives better. Our proposed research is a component of larger projects on suicide in Saskatoon, Canada and Swansea, Wales. We hope to make some impact on suicide prevention by studying its antecedent events. This Biobank component, with its rich data, large sample, and longitudinal design, would be an extremely valuable contribution to the evidence on risks for suicide and attempted suicide. We will examine our research questions by using the entire cohort to calculate the hazard of attempted or completed suicide given the explanatory variables above. Separate survival analysis models for attempted and completed suicide will be created, stratifying by gender and controlling for age, measured as a continuous variable. We will calculate the hazard ratios for each predictor variable controlling for age. Then we will create the best multivariate model using the ROC curve as a criterion. We will use the entire cohort, since the majority of our exposure variables were measured at baseline.