Characteristics of attempted suicides seen in emergency-care settings of general hospitals in eight low- and middle-income countries.

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Title Characteristics of attempted suicides seen in emergency-care settings of general hospitals in eight low- and middle-income countries.
Author Fleischmann, Alexandra; Bertolote, Jose M.; De Leo, Diego; Botega, Neury; Phillips, Michael; Sisask, Merike; Vijayakumar, Lakshmi; Malakouti, Kazem; Schlebusch, Lourens; Silva, Damani De; Nguyen, Van Tuong; Wasserman, Danuta
Journal Name Psychological Medicine
Year Published 2005
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Abstract Background. The objective was to describe patients presenting themselves at emergency-care settings following a suicide attempt in eight culturally different sites [Campinas (Brazil), Chennai (India), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Durban (South Africa), Hanoi (Viet Nam), Karaj (Iran), Tallinn (Estonia), and Yuncheng, (China)]. Method. Subjects seen for suicide attempts, as identified by the medical staff in the emergency units of 18 collaborating hospitals were asked to participate in a 45-minute structured interview administered by trained health personnel after the patient was medically stable. Results. Self-poisoning was the main method of attempting suicide in all eight sites. Self-poisoning by pesticides played a particularly important role in Yuncheng (71·6% females, 61·5% males), in Colombo (43·2% males, 19·6% females), and in Chennai (33·8% males, 23·8% females). The suicide attempt resulted in danger to life in the majority of patients in Yuncheng and in Chennai (over 65%). In four of the eight sites less than one-third of subjects received any type of referral for follow-up evaluation or care. Conclusions. Action for the prevention of suicide attempts can be started immediately in the sites investigated by addressing the one most important method of attempted suicide, namely self-poisoning. Regulations for the access to drugs, medicaments, pesticides, and other toxic substances need to be improved and revised regulations must be implemented by integrating the efforts of different sectors, such as health, agriculture, education, and justice. The care of patients who attempt suicide needs to include routine psychiatric and psychosocial assessment and systematic referral to professional services after discharge.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291705005416
Copyright Statement Copyright 2005 Cambridge University Press. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 35
Edition 2005
Page from 1467
Page to 1474
ISSN 0033-2917
Date Accessioned 2006-07-28
Language en_AU
Research Centre Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject PRE2009-Preventive Medicine
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/27587
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1a

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