Insomnia, suicidal ideation, and psychopathology in Chinese patients with chronic schizophrenia

Brian J. Miller, William V. McCall, Lei Xia, Yulong Zhang, Wenzheng Li, Xianhu Yao, Huanzhong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: Insomnia occurs frequently in the clinical course of schizophrenia. A growing literature has found associations between insomnia, suicidal ideation, and psychopathology in patients with schizophrenia. We explored these associations in a cross-sectional study of a large sample of patients with chronic schizophrenia in China. We hypothesized that insomnia would be associated with an increased odds of current suicidal ideation and higher current psychopathology scores. Methods: We recruited 328 inpatients with chronic schizophrenia, all of whom were prescribed psychotropics. We investigated relationships between current insomnia, suicidal ideation over the past two weeks, and current psychopathology for subjects using regression models. Results: After controlling for multiple potential confounding factors, current insomnia was an indicator of a significant, 2.5-fold increased odds of suicidal ideation (OR = 2.56, 95% CI 1.10–5.95, p = 0.029). Insomnia was also a significant indicator of lifetime suicide attempt (OR = 1.07) as well as higher Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale total (β = 0.134, p = 0.017), positive (β = 0.154, p = 0.006) and general (β = 0.145, p = 0.010) subscale scores. Conclusion: Insomnia is associated with suicidal ideation, lifetime suicide attempt, and higher psychopathology scores in inpatients with chronic schizophrenia. Formal assessment of insomnia appears relevant to the clinical care of patients with schizophrenia as an indicator of suicidal thinking and behavior, depression, and symptom severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110202
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Insomnia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide
  • Suicide attempt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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