Association Between the Accessibility to Lethal Methods and Method-Specific Suicide Rates: An Ecological Study in Taiwan.
J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(7):1074-1079
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Objective: To examine the association
between availability of lethal methods of suicide and method-specific suicide rates at the
city/county level in Taiwan.
Method: Age-adjusted and age-specific
suicide rates of 23 cities/counties in Taiwan for
the years 1999 to 2003 were calculated. Partial
correlation coefficients were used to examine
cross-sectional associations between independent
variables, i.e., proportion of agricultural
population and proportion of households living on the
sixth floor or above, and suicide rates by
different methods (poisoning by solids/liquids,
jumping, and hanging) after adjusting for
unemployment rates and prevalence of depression.
Results:The partial correlation coefficient
was 0.77 (p < .001) for proportion of agricultural
population with solids/liquids poisoning suicide
rates. It was 0.73 (p < .001) for the proportion of
households living on the sixth floor or above with
suicide rates by jumping. Correlations between
hanging suicide rates and proportion of agricultural
population or between hanging suicide rates
and proportion of households living on the sixth
floor or above were not significant.
Conclusion: The results showed strong
positive associations between access to lethal
methods and method-specific suicide rates.
Controlling the availability of pesticides and fencing
high buildings or installing window guards may be effective measures for suicide prevention.