Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-cf9d5c678-j7tnp Total loading time: 0.283 Render date: 2021-07-31T15:04:49.533Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Article contents

Psychological autopsy studies of suicide: a systematic review

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 April 2003

J. T. O. CAVANAGH
Affiliation:
From the University of Glasgow Department of Psychological Medicine, The Academic Centre, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow
A. J. CARSON
Affiliation:
From the University of Glasgow Department of Psychological Medicine, The Academic Centre, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow
M. SHARPE
Affiliation:
From the University of Glasgow Department of Psychological Medicine, The Academic Centre, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow
S. M. LAWRIE
Affiliation:
From the University of Glasgow Department of Psychological Medicine, The Academic Centre, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow

Abstract

Background. The psychological autopsy method offers the most direct technique currently available for examining the relationship between particular antecedents and suicide. This systematic review aimed to examine the results of studies of suicide that used a psychological autopsy method.

Method. A computer aided search of MEDLINE, BIDS ISI and PSYCHLIT, supplemented by reports known to the reviewers and reports identified from the reference lists of other retrieved reports. Two investigators systematically and independently examined all reports. Median proportions were determined and population attributable fractions were calculated, where possible, in cases of suicide and controls.

Results. One hundred and fifty-four reports were identified, of which 76 met the criteria for inclusion; 54 were case series and 22 were case–control studies. The median proportion of cases with mental disorder was 91% (95% CI 81–98%) in the case series. In the case–control studies the figure was 90% (88–95%) in the cases and 27% (14–48%) in the controls. Co-morbid mental disorder and substance abuse also preceded suicide in more cases (38%, 19–57%) than controls (6%, 0–13%). The population attributable fraction for mental disorder ranged from 47–74% in the seven studies in which it could be calculated. The effects of particular disorders and sociological variables have been insufficiently studied to draw clear conclusions.

Conclusions. The results indicated that mental disorder was the most strongly associated variable of those that have been studied. Further studies should focus on specific disorders and psychosocial factors. Suicide prevention strategies may be most effective if focused on the treatment of mental disorders.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
© 2003 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
1071
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Psychological autopsy studies of suicide: a systematic review
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Psychological autopsy studies of suicide: a systematic review
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Psychological autopsy studies of suicide: a systematic review
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *