The classification of completed suicide into subtypes

O'Connor, R. C. , Sheehy, N. P. and O'Connor, D. B. (1999) The classification of completed suicide into subtypes. Journal of Mental Health, 8(6), pp. 629-637. (doi: 10.1080/09638239917102)

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The classification of suicide into subtypes is important for suicide prevention. This study sought to classify suicide according to clinical, psychological and psychosocial factors. One hundred and forty two suicides were considered for analysis. The coroner's inquest papers for these suicides were content analysed and subsequently selected variables were included for cluster analysis. Three distinct clusters emerged which were stable and internally consistent. Cluster 1 was characterised by moderate incidences of depression and employment, often living alone but with little health-care contact. Members of cluster 2 often exhibited depression and other mental illness, had a history of self-harm, were sometimes hospitalised and were unlikely to be living alone. The third included those who were highly likely to be depressed, had a psychiatric history, had visited their GP in the 6 months prior to death, had a history of self-harm and were sometimes living alone. This typology illustrates a need to re-evaluate our perception of who is likely to commit suicide. The largest group (cluster 1) neither sought help nor acquired a diagnosis of mental illness.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:O'Connor, Professor Rory
Authors: O'Connor, R. C., Sheehy, N. P., and O'Connor, D. B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Journal of Mental Health
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1360-0567
Published Online:06 July 2009

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