The aim of the present study was to analyze hopelessness and the affective temperament profile and MMPI characteristics among suicidal and nonsuicidal psychiatric inpatients with or without childhood physical and sexual abuse. The participants were 62 acute psychiatric inpatients (14 men, 48 women) admitted to the Sant'Andrea Hospital's psychiatric ward in Rome. Participants were administered the Italian versions of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), the Italian Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris, and San Diego-Autoquestionnaire version (TEMPS-A-Rome), the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2), and the Beck Hopelessness Scale. The suicide risk was evaluated by 6 items of the MMPI-2 assessing suicidal intent. Patients with physical/sexual abuse reported high Hopelessness and differed from nonabused patients on several temperamental and personality traits. Patients who reported bruises or marks caused by physical abuse by family members were 9 times more likely to be at higher risk for suicide; those who reported having been punished with a belt or other hard objects were 20 times more likely to be at higher risk for suicide, and those who reported having been insulted by family members were 6 times more likely to be at higher risk for suicide than patients who denied such abuse experiences. Results suggest that clinicians who identify suicide attempts and suicidal tendencies among patients should routinely be assessed for sexual or physical abuse.
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