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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 1999 Summer;7(3):203-10.

Studies of suicide in later life: methodologic considerations and research directions.

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  • 1National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9635, USA.


Later-life suicide is a tragedy that occurs worldwide. Often it is preventable. Here, the authors summarize an international workshop where they review four research approaches to studying putative risk factors: epidemiologic studies of suicidal behaviors, clinic-based follow-up studies, studies of suicide attempters, and psychological autopsy studies. They provide brief descriptions of the approaches, examples of questions best addressed by each approach, and their weaknesses and limitations; they also recommend promising areas for future research and propose opportunities for research that could be conducted cross-nationally.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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