Year: 2013 Source: General Hospital Psychiatry.(2013).35(1):54-8. SIEC No: 20130565

Objective: We aimed to identify gender-specific characteristics of suicide attempters admitted to general hospital emergency departments in urban China. Methods: The Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-IV, the Suicide Ideation Scale, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and a quality of life measure were administered to 239 suicide attempters who were treated consecutively in the emergency departments of four general hospitals randomly selected in Shenyang, China. Results: Among the 239 enrolled subjects, 53 (22.2%) were men, and 186 (77.8%) were women. Compared to women, men were more likely to be a minority, live with their families and/or suffer from substance-related disorders. Men were less likely to be living alone or cohabitating. Women were more likely to express suicide ideation compared with men. Thirty-seven (69.8%) men and 129 (69.4%) women had mental illness. The prevalence of psychiatric diagnosis was not significantly different between men and women (Ö(2)=.004, df=1, P=.95). Conclusion: The rate of attempted suicide is higher among women than among men in the emergency departments of urban China. Except for race, living situation and suicide ideation, there are few gender differences regarding socio-demographic and clinical characteristics in the current study that are not consistent with reports from other countries. However, similar to other studies, men are more likely to suffer from substance-related disorders than are women. The unique, gender-specific characteristics pertaining to suicide attempters in urban China emphasizes the need for gender-specific interventions in future clinical treatment.