The Risk of Suicide Mortality in Chronic Pain Patients

  • Afton L. Hassett
  • Jordan K. Aquino
  • Mark A. Ilgen
Psychiatric Management of Pain (M Clark, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11916-014-0436-1

Cite this article as:
Hassett, A.L., Aquino, J.K. & Ilgen, M.A. Curr Pain Headache Rep (2014) 18: 436. doi:10.1007/s11916-014-0436-1
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Psychiatric Management of Pain


Chronic pain has long been considered an important risk factor for suicidal behavior. Less well understood are the factors associated with the increased risk for suicide death within chronic pain populations. The purpose of this review is to examine recent research with regard to rates of and risk factors for suicide mortality in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. We conclude that patients with a number of chronic pain states are at increased risk for suicide death, and that this risk appears to be due, at least in part, to other well-known correlates of pain such as depression and substance use disorders. However, in all likelihood, there are aspects of chronic pain itself that add uniquely to an individual’s suicide risk profile. Lastly, we address a theoretical perspective and offer recommendations for clinical practice.


Chronic pain Suicide Depression Anxiety Risk factors 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Afton L. Hassett
    • 1
  • Jordan K. Aquino
    • 2
  • Mark A. Ilgen
    • 3
  1. 1.Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center, Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Center, Department of Health ScienceCalifornia State University, FullertonFullertonUSA
  3. 3.VA Center for Clinical Management Research (CCMR), VA Ann Arbor Healthcare SystemUniversity of Michigan Department of PsychiatryAnn ArborUSA

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