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Title: A case control psychological autopsy study of suicide and undetermined death
Author: Cavanagh, J. T. O.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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Background: To examine cases of suicide and undetermined death and to examine a group of living controls matched for age, sex and mental disorder. To identify antecedents which differentiate those with mental disorder at high risk of suicide from those at lesser risk. Method: A retrospective case-control comparison of cases of suicide/undetermined death with living controls using psychological autopsy. Assessments were conducted with those closest to cases and controls. The setting was South East Scotland. The subjects were 45 classes of suicide/undetermined death and 40 living controls. Results: Cases and controls did not differ in any significant way with respect to severity of mental disorder. On controlling for confounders, the main factors independently associated with undetermined death or suicide were:- a history of DSH (adjusted OR 4.1) physical ill health (adjusted OR 7.8) treatment of whatever kind by mental health services (adjusted OR 0.01). Conclusions: The principal finding is that controls were receiving more care of whatever kind. Treatment of mental disorder in context of physical illness may be especially important, as is the recognition of a history of deliberate self harm. Factors which separate those with mental disorder at high risk from those at lesser risk relate to care levels provided which, in turn, may be a function of engagement by and with health services. The role of mental health professionals is beneficial in suicide prevention. The focusing of that role toward engaging alienated or "difficult" patients should be addressed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available