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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2014 Dec;44(6):710-22. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12107. Epub 2014 Jun 20.

Suicide on railroad rights-of-way: a psychological autopsy study.

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American Association of Suicidology, Washington, DC, USA.


Findings from 55 psychological autopsies of decedents who perished on U.S. railroad rights-of-way between October 1, 2007, and September 30, 2010 are reported. Described are distal, proximal, and contextual factors of risk; understandings of why these suicides occurred on railroad rights-of-way; and opportunities for prevention of similar suicides. International comparisons of suicides on railroad rights-of-way are made to highlight distinct findings regarding U.S.


Decedents studied exhibited considerable predisposing risk for suicide, with a high prevalence of severe mental disorders and substance abuse. In addition, a number of acute risk factors were commonly observed, notably suicide ideation, hopelessness, anxiety, and anger. In the context of that acute risk, associated situational variables and a relative absence of protective factors are described.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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