Suicide attempt admissions from a single children’s hospital before and after the introduction of Netflix series 13 Reasons Why
Cooper, M.T., Bard, D., Wallace, R., Gillaspy, S., & Deleon, S.
Release of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why in March 2017 raised concern over associated suicide attempts. This study aimed to identify trends in self-harm admissions to a tertiary children’s hospital with special attention paid to the time after series release.
Records for admitted patients ages 4–18 years from January 2012 to October 2017 were identified based on ICD codes indicating self-harm. Admissions were grouped by month, and the ARMA (Auto Regression and Moving Average) model was used in analysis. Log transformation was used to obtain a constant variance, and seasonal terms were added for adjustment. A “postintervention” level shift, temporary shift, and linear growth term were incorporated as predictors in ARMA models to test for differences using the series premier as the intervention. Terms from the best fitting model (without intervention effects) were fit to preintervention data and forecast predictions were compared to the observed data from the postintervention period.
Seven hundred seventy-five records were included in analysis. There was an increase of .024 in the log of suicide admission counts per month (p < .001). The model that best explained the data was an ARMA (2,2) model with cubic growth curve terms, a post-intervention level shift, and a postintervention linear growth term, indicating an increase in observed over expected admissions following the premiere.
Suicide admission counts increased over the time series. Actual suicide admissions following March 2017 were higher than predicted using the optimal model, suggesting an effect that temporally coincides with the release of 13 Reasons Why.