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Attempted Suicide in Oxford and Utrecht

  • Martha Grootenhuis (a1), Keith Hawton (a2), Liesbeth Van Rooijen (a3) and Joan Fagg (a4)

Extract

Background

Attempted suicide rates are much higher in the UK than in the Netherlands. We have compared the characteristics of suicide attempters referred to general hospitals in Oxford and Utrecht.

Method

We compared the characteristics of referrals for attempted suicide to a general hospital in Oxford and one in Utrecht, for the years 1988 and 1989.

Results

Most of the attempters in Oxford were young whereas attempters in Utrecht were older; this age difference was particularly marked in females. Utrecht attempters appeared more often to have socio-economic problems and to suffer from psychiatric and personality disorders (except substance abuse), even when account was taken of the age differences of the two populations.

Conclusions

There is some evidence for different thresholds for attempted suicide in the UK and the Netherlands, although other social explanations for the difference in attempted suicide rates are feasible and require further study.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr K. Hawton, University Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX

References

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Grootenhuis, M. & Paap, R. P. S. C. (1993) How do suicide attempters evaluate treatment in a general hospital? Italian Journal of Suicidology, 3, 2528.
Hawton, K., Gath, D. & Smith, E. (1979) Management of attempted suicide in Oxford. British Medical Journal, ii, 10401042.
Hawton, K., & Fagg, J. (1992) Trends in deliberate self poisoning and self injury in Oxford, 1976–90. British Medical Journal, 304, 14091411.
Platt, S., Hawton, K., Kreitman, N., et al (1988) Recent clinical and epidemiological trends in parasuicide in Edinburgh and Oxford: a tale of two cities. Psychological Medicine, 18, 405418.
Platt, S., Bille-brahe, V., Kerkhof, A., et al (1992) Parasiticide in Europe: the WHO/EURO multicentre study on parasuicide. I. Introduction and preliminary analysis for 1989. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 85, 97104.
Prins, M. M. & Kerkhof, A. J. F. M. (1990) Epidemiology of suicide attempts in the Leiden area, Netherlands. In Suicidal Behaviour and Risk Factors: Proceedings of Third European Symposium on Suicidal Behaviour (eds Ferrari, G., Belini, M. & Crepet, P.), pp. 195200. Bologna: Monduzzi.
Sellar, C., Goldacre, M. J. & Hawton, K. (1990) Reliability of routine hospital data on poisoning as measures of deliberate self poisoning in adolescents. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 44, 313315.
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Attempted Suicide in Oxford and Utrecht

  • Martha Grootenhuis (a1), Keith Hawton (a2), Liesbeth Van Rooijen (a3) and Joan Fagg (a4)
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