Year: 2013 Source: Archives Of Suicide Research.(2011).15(1):68-74. DOI:10.1080/13811118.2011.540476 SIEC No: 20130450

The aim of this study was (1) to estimate the incidence of suicidal behavior, i.e., suicide and suicide attempts, among Belgian general practice patients in 2007-2008 and to estimate trends since previous surveillance periods, i.e., 1991-1993 and 2000-2001; and (2) to investigate characteristics of actors, acts, and first care delivery. Data were collected by the national network of sentinel general practitioners, recording all suicidal behavior they were confronted with in their daily practice in the three periods. In 2007-2008 incidence rates of both suicide and suicide attempts had declined compared to the previous periods while the use of violent versus non-violent suicidal methods remained unchanged. GP involvement in first care after suicidal behavior declined over time from 71% to 39% in the largest part of the population, i.e., younger and adult persons. The last surveillance of suicidal behavior by the Belgian sentinel network of GPs most likely resulted in an underestimation, probably as a result of a declining role of GPs in delivery of first care to patients following suicidal behavior.