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Suicide in Hong Kong: a case-control psychological autopsy study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 March 2006

ERIC Y. H. CHEN
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
WINCY S. C. CHAN
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
PAUL W. C. WONG
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
SANDRA S. M. CHAN
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
CECILIA L. W. CHAN
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Y. W. LAW
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
PHILIP S. L. BEH
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
K. K. CHAN
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
JOANNE W. Y. CHENG
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
KA Y. LIU
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
PAUL S. F. YIP
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Abstract

Background. The relative contribution of psychosocial and clinical risk factors to suicide among Chinese populations is an important issue. In Hong Kong, this issue requires vigorous examination in light of a 50% increase in suicide rate between 1997 and 2003.

Method. Using a case-control psychological autopsy method, 150 suicide deceased were compared with 150 living controls matched by age and gender. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the next-of-kin of the subjects. Data were collected on a wide range of potential risk and protective factors, including demographic, life event, clinical and psychological variables. The relative contribution of these factors towards suicide was examined in a multiple logistic regression model.

Results. Six factors were found to significantly and independently contribute to suicide: unemployment, indebtedness, being single, social support, psychiatric illness, and history of past attempts.

Conclusions. Both psychosocial and clinical factors are important in suicides in Hong Kong. They seem to have mediated suicide risk independently. In addition, socio-economic adversities seem to have played a relatively important role in the increasing suicide rate in Hong Kong.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
© 2006 Cambridge University Press

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