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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2007 Oct;37(5):576-84.

A cluster analysis of the circumstances of death in suicides in Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.


Classification of suicides is essential for clinicians to better identify self-harm patients with future suicidal risks. This study examined potential subtypes of suicide in a psychological autopsy sample (N = 148) in Hong Kong. Hierarchical cluster analysis extracted two subgroups of subjects in terms of expressed deliberation assessed by the Beck Suicide Intent Scale (SIS). The first group was associated with charcoal burning suicide, no psychiatric illness, indebtedness, better problem-solving ability, chronic stress, and higher overall SIS scores. The second group was associated with jumping from a height, psychotic disorders, psychiatric treatment, acute stress, and lower overall SIS score. The existence of a substantial cluster of subjects with lower expressed intent and preparation has important implications for the performance of the SIS as a predictive tool. Suicide prevention strategy may have to target potential subgroups with specific approaches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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