Guiding principles for the implementation of a standardized psychological autopsy to understand and prevent suicide: a stakeholder analysis

Background: Around 700,000 people die by suicide each year. While the global number of suicides declined over the last decade, the rates remained unchanged in the Netherlands. With this study, we aimed to provide guiding principles for the implementation of a national standardized psychological autopsy to better understand and prevent suicide, by exploring stakeholder perceptions and […]

Suicide and prevalence of mental disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis of world data on case-control psychological autopsy studies

Introduction Suicide is a multifaceted event precipitated by underlying biopsychosocial risk factors. Evidence for various psychiatric morbidities underlying suicidality through Psychological Autopsy (PA) is established in case-control studies. However, considering the possible geographical variations and the limited number of studies from developing countries, the estimates of such risk factors across the world could provide great […]

Impact of position in family on suicide: A case-control psychological autopsy study among Chinese rural youths

Introduction. Suicide remains an important public health issue in China. Existing literature on the relationship between individual-familial variables and suicide risk mainly focused on family socioeconomic status, and few studies analyzed the effect of position in family on suicide. In this study, we aimed to explore the association between position in family and suicide among […]

Pesticides and passion: A qualitative psychological autopsy study of suicide in Guyana

Background The suicide rate in Guyana has consistently ranked in the top ten globally, yet there is only limited literature related to the context in which these suicides occur. This study aims to better understand the psychosocial circumstances and characteristics of suicides in Guyana. Methods This case series study utilised a qualitative psychological autopsy method. […]

Is suicide a mental health, public health, or societal problem?

Purpose of review: Suicide is a complex phenomenon wherein multiple parameters intersect: psychological, medical, moral, religious, social, economic and political. Over the decades, however, it has been increasingly and almost exclusively come to be viewed through a biomedical prism. Colonized thus by health and more specifically mental health professionals, alternative and complimentary approaches have been excluded […]

Psychosis and suicide: Suicidal communication and critical life events before suicide in a 1-year psychiatric cohort

Background: The life time risk of suicide among patients with long term psychosis is 5-15%. Suicide prevention in this group is a major clinical challenge. Aims: To capture specific characteristics of suicidal communication and critical events preceding suicide in patients with psychosis. Methods: Medical records were examined and a life event inventory applied to a […]

Physical illness and suicide risk in rural residents of contemporary China: A psychological autopsy case-control study

Background: Physical illness is linked with an increased risk of suicide; however, evidence from China is limited. Aims: To assess the influence of physical illness on risk of suicide among rural residents of China, and to examine the differences in the characteristics of people completing suicide with physical illness from those without physical illness. Method: In all, 200 suicide cases […]

Alcohol and suicide in postconflict Northern Uganda: A qualitative psychological autopsy study

Background: Alcohol has been noted to be an important factor in nearly 68% of the suicides in Northern Uganda, yet exactly how alcohol contributes to suicide in this region has not been studied. Aims: To determine how alcohol contributes to suicide in this region. Methods: Qualitative psychological autopsy interviews were conducted with bereaved relatives and friends of 20 suicides mainly […]

Research participation experiences of informants of suicide and control cases: Taken from a case-control psychological autopsy study of people who died by suicide

Background: Ethical issues have been raised about using the psychological autopsy approach in the study of suicide. The impact on informants of control cases who participated in case-control psychological autopsy studies has not been investigated. Aims: (1) To investigate whether informants of suicide cases recruited by two approaches (coroners’ court and public mortuaries) respond differently to the […]

Social media use of adolescents who died by suicide: Lessons from a psychological autopsy study

Background while there are many benefits for young people to use social media, adverse effects such as cyberbullying, online challenges, social comparison and imitation may provoke and aggravate suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The influence of social media on mental health and suicidal thoughts and behaviours has been amply studied, but there is little empirical evidence […]

Completed suicide linked to the COVID-19 pandemic by using the psychological autopsy method in Sibiu County, Romania: Case series and literature review

The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with suicide, as some data suggests. Our study aims to investigate the emergence of eleven completed suicide cases suspected to be linked to the COVID-19 pandemic during the restrictive measures imposed by the Romanian government, and to identify the consequences of mental health, suicidal motivation, and behavioral changes. To this […]

Introducing the psychological autopsy methodology checklist

Objective Case–control psychological autopsy studies are the research standard for the postmortem, quantitative study of ongoing or recent risk factors for suicide. We aimed to develop a reliable checklist of methodological quality of these studies. Method We adapted items from a validated checklist to address general methodological elements and created novel items to address the […]

Social closeness and support are associated with lower risk of suicide among U.S. Army soldiers

Objective We tested the aspects of social support, unit cohesion, and religiosity hypothesized to be protective factors for suicide among U.S. service members. Methods This case–control study compared U.S. Army soldiers who died by suicide while on active duty (n = 135) to controls of two types: those propensity score-matched on known sociodemographic risk factors (n = 128); and […]

Psychological autopsy study comparing suicide decedents with and without a history of suicide attempts in a nationwide sample of South Korea

The majority of suicide decedents die on their initial attempt. To bring attention to suicide decedents without a suicide attempt history, the current study explored their demographic, clinical, and suicide-related characteristics. The data were derived from the Korea National Investigation of Suicide Victims Study, which assessed all suicide cases from 2013 to 2017 recorded in […]

Psychosocial and psychiatric factors preceding death by suicide: A case–control psychological autopsy study involving multiple data sources

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 […]

The mask of suicide

Although it has been stated that the majority of suicidal people give definite warnings of their suicidal intention, a percentage of suicidal people may dissemble (or mask), possibly 20%. The aim of this psychological autopsy (PA) study was to explore the mask of suicide, examining age and sex of the decedent, and survivors’ relationship to […]

Psychological autopsy study and risk factors for suicide in Muslim countries

Background Suicide and risk factors have been poorly studied in the Muslim-majority countries that hinder the formulation of prevention strategies and affect suicide prevention eventually. Objectives We aimed at identifying and analyzing the psychological autopsy studies assessing the risk factors for suicide conducted in Muslim-majority countries. Methods We did a search to trace all the […]

Psychological autopsy studies of suicide in South East Asia

Background: Psychiatric disorders have been identified as an important risk factor for suicide. However, different psychological autopsy studies have revealed different prevalences at different times and places. Objective: We aimed to see the distribution of psychological autopsy studies and the prevalence of mental disorders among suicides and identify major risk factors in Southeast Asian countries. […]

The path not taken: Distinguishing individuals who die by suicide from those who die by natural causes despite a shared history of suicide attempt

Objectives This study aimed to identify variables that distinguish suicide risk among individuals with previous suicide attempts. Method Using psychological autopsy procedures, we evaluated 86 decedents who had at least one lifetime suicide attempt before eventual death by suicide (n = 65) or natural causes (n = 21). Results The Suicide Death group was more likely to be […]

Interpersonal precipitants are associated with suicide intent communication among United States Air Force suicide decedents

Background Few studies explore differences between suicide intent communicators and noncommunicators, and to date, none have examined the association between suicide precipitants and intent communication. Methods United States Air Force suicide decedents (N = 236) were categorized as suicide intent communicators or non-communicators within 30 days prior to death. The top two frequently occurring suicide precipitants, categorized […]

Gender differences in suicide-related communication of young suicide victims

Objectives There is limited insight into gender differences in suicide-related communication (SRC) in youths. SRC is defined as “the act of conveying one’s own suicide ideation, intent or behaviours to another person”. Increasing our understanding of SRC in youths will enable us to recognize and specify needs of female versus male youths. The current study explores SRC […]

Completed versus attempted suicide in psychiatric patients: A psychological autopsy study

The aims of this study were to identify specific risk factors associated with completed suicide in a sample of suicide victims diagnosed with mental illness and to discriminate completed suicides from attempted suicide in individuals who did not kill themselves for at least the next 2 years after the index attempt. Ninety-four adults (34 women; […]

Difference between suicide note leavers and other suicides: A German psychological autopsy study

Introduction Suicide notes are not only the last personal message from the suicide victim to the bereaved, but are also a valuable source for research in preventing suicides. However, not all suicide victims leave a suicide note and it is unclear whether note leavers are representative of the general population of suicide victims. Methods The […]