Year: 2022 Source: Crisis. (2022). 43(45, 391-397. SIEC No: 20220945
Background: Suicide is a complex public health problem. Suicide rates are higher in rural areas than in urban areas and among older adults than any other age group in China. Aims: This study aimed to acquire a comprehensive understanding of rural older adults’ reasons for suicide through qualitative exploration and to provide additional insights for suicide prevention work. Method: In-depth interviews were conducted with people familiar with older adults who had died by suicide (“informants”). The data were analyzed using a thematic approach. Results: Data were available for 242 people who died by suicide. Informants identified two or more reasons for suicide among most people who had died. Physical illness, psychological distress, and interpersonal conflicts were the most common reasons. The rate of mental disorders as diagnosed by psychiatrists was higher than that reported by the informants. Limitations: Information bias is inevitable because of the use of proxy informants. Conclusion: The reasons for suicide are complex and diverse, and research on suicide should focus more on the mechanisms of interaction between reasons. Greater attention should be paid to physical and mental health as well as to improving interpersonal and problem-solving skills for older adults in China.