Method-specific suicide rates and accessibility of means: a small-area analysis in Taipei City, Taiwan

Chien-Yu Lin, Chia-Yueh Hsu, Ying-Yeh Chen, Shu-Sen Chang*, David Gunnell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Background: Few studies have investigated whether means accessibility is related to the spatial distribution of suicide. Aims: To examine the hypothesis that indicators of the accessibility to specific suicide methods were associated with method-specific suicide rates in Taipei City, Taiwan. Method: Smoothed standardized mortality ratios for method-specific suicide rates across 432 neighborhoods and their associations with means accessibility indicators were estimated using Bayesian hierarchical models. Results: The proportion of single-person households, indicating the ease of burning charcoal in the home, was associated with charcoal-burning suicide rates (adjusted rate ratio [aRR] > 1.13, 95% credible interval [CrI] > 1.03–1.25). The proportion of households living on the sixth floor or above, indicating easy access to high places, was associated with jumping suicide rates (aRR > 1.16, 95% CrI, 1.04–1.29). Neighborhoods’ adjacency to rivers, indicating easy access to water, showed no statistical evidence of an association with drowning suicide rates (aRR > 1.27, 95% CrI > 0.92–1.69). Hanging and overall suicide rates showed no associations with any of these three accessibility indicators. Limitations: This is an ecological study; associations between means accessibility and suicide cannot be directly inferred as causal. Conclusion: The findings have implications for identifying high-risk groups for charcoal-burning suicide (e.g., vulnerable individuals living alone) and preventing jumping suicides by increasing the safety of high buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalCrisis: Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention
Volume0
Issue number0
Early online date18 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Hogrefe Publishing.

Keywords

  • suicide
  • suicide methods
  • spatial analysis
  • means accessibility

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