Year: 2013 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.(2012).42(4):445Ð452. DOI: 10.1111/j.1943-278X.2012.00103.x SIEC No: 20130506

The characteristics of health care utilization during the last year of life by Taiwanese who died by suicide were analyzed. The degree of health services utilization was evaluated by extracting the data of National Health Insurance (NHI) outpatient cohort records in 2006. A total of 4,406 fatal suicide cases were matched with the 17,587,901 subjects in the NHI beneficiary registry file. Rate of visit of the suicide decedents for all NHI outpatient services during their last year before death was 85%, and that for mental disorders service only was 30.2%. Average number of visits per person-year of the suicide decedents was 24.5 visits per year, two times higher than that of the survivors. The average numbers of visits (ANV) of male suicide decedents who used the mental disorders services was increased 6.8 times compared to that for all survivors. The increase in female decedents, in contrast, was 2.7 times. The increase in ANV for 15Ð24 age group was 14.6 times, significantly higher than that for the other age groups (<4 times). Effective prediction or prevention of potential suicides through increased awareness and surveillance of medical care resource utilization is possible, especially for male and young adult patients under mental disorder health care.