Unravelling psychiatric heterogeneity and predicting suicide attempts in women with trauma-related dissociation using artificial intelligence

Background: Suicide is a leading cause of death, and rates of attempted suicide have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The under-diagnosed psychiatric phenotype of dissociation is associated with elevated suicidal self-injury; however, it has largely been left out of attempts to predict and prevent suicide.

 

Objective: We designed an artificial intelligence approach to identify dissociative patients and predict prior suicide attempts in an unbiased, data-driven manner.

 

Method: Participants were 30 controls and 93 treatment-seeking female patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and various levels of dissociation, including some with the PTSD dissociative subtype and some with dissociative identity disorder (DID).

 

Results: Unsupervised learning models identified patients along a spectrum of dissociation. Moreover, supervised learning models accurately predicted prior suicide attempts with an F1 score up to 0.83. DID had the highest risk of prior suicide attempts, and distinct subtypes of dissociation predicted suicide attempts in PTSD and DID.

 

Conclusions: These findings expand our understanding of the dissociative phenotype and underscore the urgent need to assess for dissociation to identify individuals at high-risk of suicidal self-injury.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Dissociation, feelings of detachment and disruption in one's sense of self and surroundings, is associated with an elevated risk of suicidal self-injury; however, it has largely been left out of attempts to predict and prevent suicide.
  • Using machine learning techniques, we found dissociative identity disorder had the highest risk of prior suicide attempts, and distinct subtypes of dissociation predicted suicide attempts in posttraumatic stress disorder and dissociative identity disorder.
  • These findings underscore the urgent need to assess for dissociation to identify individuals at high-risk of suicidal self-injury.
Reference: 
Suhas Srinivansan, Nathaniel G. Harnett, Liang Zhang, M. Kathryn Dahlgren, Junbong Jang, Senbao Lu, Benjamin C. Nephew, Cori A. Palermo, Xi Pan, Mohamed Y. Eltabakh, Blaise B. Frederick, Staci A. Gruber, Milissa L. Kaufman, Jean King, Kerry J. Ressler, Sherry Winternitz, Dmitry Korkin & Lauren A. M. Lebois | 2022
In: European Journal of Psychotraumatology ; ISSN: 2000-8066 | 13 | 2 | november | 2143693
https://doi.org/10.1080/20008066.2022.2143693
Keywords: 
Comorbidity, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Injuries, Machine learning, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Predictors, PTSD (en), Statistical Analysis, Suicidality