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Low-planned suicides in China

  • KENNETH R. CONNER (a1) (a2) (a3), MICHAEL R. PHILLIPS (a4), SEAN MELDRUM (a1) (a5), KERRY L. KNOX (a1) (a3) (a6), YANPING ZHANG (a4) and GONGHUAN YANG (a7)...

Background. Acts of suicide differ widely in the amount of planning preceding the act. Correlates of completed suicide in China identified in a previous investigation were re-examined to identify those that may be especially relevant to low-planned (impulsive) and high-planned suicidal behavior. The association of planning and method in completed suicide was also assessed.

Method. A psychological autopsy study of 505 suicide decedents aged [ges ]18 years sampled to be representative of suicides in China was conducted. Multinomial regression analyses compared three levels of suicide planning (low, intermediate, high).

Results. Women and younger individuals were more likely to carry out low-planned and intermediate-planned than high-planned acts of suicide. Greater acute stress distinguished low-planned from high-planned suicides. Ingestion of pesticides stored in the home was a more commonly employed method in low-planned than high-planned suicides.

Conclusions. Low-planned suicides are more common in women, in younger individuals, and among those who are experiencing acute stress. Prevention strategies targeted at restricting access to pesticides may preferentially lower the rate of low-planned suicides.

Corresponding author
University of Rochester Medical Center, 300 Crittenden Blvd, Rochester, NY 14642, USA. (Email:
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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
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