Home > Psychosocial and psychiatric factors preceding death by suicide: A case-control psychological autopsy study involving multiple data sources.

McMahon, Elaine M and Greiner, Birgit A and Corcoran, Paul and Larkin, Celine and Leitao, Sara and McCarthy, Jacklyn and Cassidy, Eugene and Bradley, Colin and McAuliffe, Carmel and Griffin, Eve and Williamson, Eileen and Foster, Tom and Gallagher, John and Perry, Ivan J and Kapur, Nav and Arensman, Ella (2022) Psychosocial and psychiatric factors preceding death by suicide: A case-control psychological autopsy study involving multiple data sources. Suicide & Life-threatening Behavior, Early online, https://doi.org/10.1111/sltb.12900.

External website: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/sltb.1...

BACKGROUND
A range of factors including mental disorders and adverse life events can increase the risk of suicide. The objectives of this study were to examine psychosocial and psychiatric factors and service engagement among suicide decedents compared with living controls.

METHODS
A case-control study using multiple sources was conducted. Information on 132 consecutive cases of suicide was drawn from coronial files, and interviews were carried out with 35 family informants and 53 living controls. GPs completed questionnaires for 60 suicide cases and 27 controls.

RESULTS
The majority (83.3%) of suicide decedents had contacted a GP in the year prior to death, while 23.3% had 10 or more consultations during the year prior to death. Half of suicide decedents had a history of self-harm. Suicide cases were significantly more likely than controls to have a psychiatric diagnosis (60% vs. 18.5%) and a depressive illness (36.7% vs. 14.8%). Over one-quarter of suicide decedents had been treated as a psychiatric inpatient.

DISCUSSION
Primary care providers should be supported to deliver multidisciplinary interventions to engage, assess, and treat patients at risk of suicide, targeting those who present very frequently, those with a history of self-harm or substance misuse, and those with psychological presentations.


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