Achieving standardised reporting of suicide in Australia: rationale and program for change

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Title Achieving standardised reporting of suicide in Australia: rationale and program for change
Author De Leo, Diego; Dudley, Michael J; Aebersold, Caroline J; Mendoza, John A; Barnes, Michael A; Harrison, James E; Ranson, David L
Journal Name Medical Journal of Australia
Editor Martin B Van Der Weyden
Year Published 2010
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Company Pty. Ltd.
Abstract ■Suicide and intentional self-harm are issues of major importance in public health and public policy, with rates widely used as progress indicators in these areas. ■Accurate statistics are vital for appropriately targeted prevention strategies and research, costing of suicide and to combat associated stigma. ■Underreporting of Australian suicide rates probably grew from 2002 to 2006; Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) suicide data were at least 11% or 16% undercounted (depending on case definitions) in 2004. ■In coronial cases with undetermined intent for 2005 to 2007, intentional self-harm was found in 39%. ■Systemic reasons for undercounting include: (i) absence of a central authority for producing mortality data; (ii) inconsistent coronial processes for determining intent, as a result of inadequate information inputs, suicide stigma, and high standards of proof; (iii) collection and coding methods that are problematic for data stakeholders; and (iv) lack of systemic resourcing, training and shared expertise. ■Revision of data after coronial case closure, beginning with ABS deaths registered in 2007, is planned and will reduce undercounting. ■Other reasons for undercounting, such as missing or ambiguous information (eg, single-vehicle road crashes, drowning), differential ascertainment (eg, between jurisdictions), or lack of recorded information on groups such as Indigenous people and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people require separate responses. ■A systemic coordinated program should address current inaccuracies, and social stigma about suicide and self-harm must be tackled if widespread underreporting is to stop.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/192_08_190410/del10779_fm.html
Volume 192
Issue Number 8
Page from 452
Page to 456
ISSN 0025-729X
Date Accessioned 2011-02-02
Date Available 2011-03-07T08:52:39Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject Mental Health
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/36839
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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