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Psychiatry and Mental Health Research

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Brain Stimulation 2018: Profiling Psychiatric Suicide in Japan

Author(s): Muhammad Nair

Suicide is an adverse event that can occur even when patient are hospitalized in psychiatric facilities. This study delineates the demographic characteristics of suicide attempts in mental hospitals and psychiatric wards of general hospitals in Japan, a country where the suicide rate is remarkably high. Analyses of incident reports on serious suicide attempts in psychiatric inpatients were performed using prefectural incident records between April 1, 2001, and December31, 2012. Suicide reports were included for 35 incidents that occurred over 11years, and demonstrated that 83% of patients (n=29) committed suicide and 17% (n=6) survived their attempt with serious aftereffects, such as cognitive impairment or persistent vegetative state. The male/female ratio of inpatient suicide was 1.5:1. The mean age of the attempters was 50.5 years (SD = 18.2). The most common psychiatric diagnoses for those with suicide incident reports were schizophrenia spectrum disorders (51.4%) and affective disorders (40%). Hanging (60%) was the most common method of suicide attempt, followed by jumping in front of moving objects (14.3%) and jumping from height (11.4%). Fifty-four percent of suicides (n=19) occurred within hospital sites and the remainder (46%; n=16) occurred outside hospital sites (e.g., on medical leave or elopement) while they were still inpatients.
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