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Differences among South Tyrolean suicides: a psychological autopsy study

Objective: The aim of the present study was to study gender differences in the suicides in South Tyrol.

Methods: Between 2000 and 2009, the Department of Psychiatry of Bolzano administered questionnaires to the Provincial Departments of Public Health requesting information about causes and methods of completed suicides. Each suicide was then examined using a psychological autopsy methodology.

Results: There were 448 suicides studied (339 men and 109 women). Compared with men, women were more likely to live alone, have attempted suicide in the past, and to have contacted their general practitioners in the last weeks before dying. They were also less likely to have an alcohol use disorder, have used violent methods of suicide, and be 35 years or younger.

Conclusion: The differences identified for South Tyrolean suicides confirmed previously reported gender differences in employment and marital status, history of a previous suicide attempt, and alcohol abuse. Appropriate gender-based preventive interventions are needed.

Giancarlo Giupponi, Andreas Conca, Marco Innamorati, Alberto Forte, David Lester, Denise Erbuto, Roger Pycha, Paolo Girardi, Anne Maria Möller-Leimkühler, Maurizio Pompili, Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 3/4/2016

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