The Inter-Relationships Between Depressive Symptoms and Suicidality Among Macau Residents After the “Relatively Static Management” COVID-19 Strategy: A Perspective of Network Analysis

Mei Ieng Lam, Hong Cai, Pan Chen, Ka In Lok, Ines Hang Iao Chow, Tong Leong Si, Zhaohui Su, Chee H. Ng, Feng Rong An, Yu Tao Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Suicidality is a global public health problem which has increased considerably during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This study examined the inter-relationships between depressive symptoms and suicidality using network analysis among Macau residents after the “relatively static management” COVID-19 strategy. Methods: An assessment of suicidal ideation (SI), suicide plan (SP), suicide attempt (SA) and depressive symptoms was conducted with the use of individual binary response items (yes/no) and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). In the network analysis, central and bridge symptoms were identified in the network through “Expected Influence” and “Bridge Expected Influence”, and specific symptoms that were directly associated with suicidality were identified via the flow function. Network Comparison Tests (NCT) were conducted to examine the gender differences in network characteristics. Results: The study sample included a total of 1008 Macau residents. The prevalence of depressive symptoms and suicidality were 62.50% (95% CI = 59.4–65.5%) and 8.9% (95% CI = 7.2–10.9%), respectively. A network analysis of the sample identified SI (“Suicidal ideation”) as the most central symptom, followed by SP (“Suicide plan”) and PHQ4 (“Fatigue”). SI (“Suicidal ideation”) and PHQ6 (“Guilt”) were bridge nodes connecting depressive symptoms and suicidality. A flow network revealed that the strongest connection was between S (“Suicidality”) and PHQ6 (“Guilt”), followed by S (“Suicidality”) and PHQ 7 (“Concentration”), and S (“Suicidality”) and PHQ3 (“Sleep”). Conclusion: The findings indicated that reduction of specific depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts may be relevant in decreasing suicidality among adults. Further, suicide assessment and prevention measures should address the central and bridge symptoms identified in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-209
Number of pages15
JournalNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
Volume20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • adults
  • depression
  • network analysis
  • suicidality

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Inter-Relationships Between Depressive Symptoms and Suicidality Among Macau Residents After the “Relatively Static Management” COVID-19 Strategy: A Perspective of Network Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this