This study investigated attendance of treatment and follow-up characteristics in two samples of suicide attempters with different lengths of follow-up, that is after one month and after three months. They did not differ initially. After one month, most of the treatment non-attenders (32%) had not yet established an outpatient contact after inpatient treatment, while after three months, 38% of the patients had no psychiatric treatment. At one month, the patients more often had sleep disturbances, expressed hopelessness, and they also more often expressed other kinds of problems. After one and three months 36% and 30%, respectively, had suicidal thoughts. In both samples, these patients more often than the others expressed a need of professional help, regardless of ongoing treatment. Probably there is a critical period of time in which to engage the patient in treatment, and perhaps more than one follow-up contact should be made.
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