Suicide by occupation: systematic review and meta-analysis

Milner, Allison, Spittal, Matthew J, Pirkis, Jane and LaMontagne, Anthony D 2013, Suicide by occupation: systematic review and meta-analysis, British journal of psychiatry, vol. 203, no. 6, pp. 409-416, doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.113.128405.

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Title Suicide by occupation: systematic review and meta-analysis
Author(s) Milner, Allison
Spittal, Matthew J
Pirkis, Jane
LaMontagne, Anthony DORCID iD for LaMontagne, Anthony D
Journal name British journal of psychiatry
Volume number 203
Issue number 6
Start page 409
End page 416
Total pages 8
Publisher The Royal College of Psychiatrists
Place of publication London, UK
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1472-1465
Summary Background Previous research has shown that those employed in certain occupations, such as doctors and farmers, have an elevated risk of suicide, yet little research has sought to synthesise these findings across working-age populations. Aims To summarise published research in this area through systematic review and meta-analysis. Method Random effects meta-analyses were used to calculate a pooled risk of suicide across occupational skill-level groups. Results Thirty-four studies were included in the meta-analysis. Elementary professions (e.g. labourers and cleaners) were at elevated risk compared with the working-age population (rate ratio (RR) = 1.84, 95% CI 1.46-2.33), followed by machine operators and deck crew (RR = 1.78, 95% CI 1.22-2.60) and agricultural workers (RR = 1.64, 95% CI 1.19-2.28). Results suggested a stepwise gradient in risk, with the lowest skilled occupations being at greater risk of suicide than the highest skill-level group. Conclusions This is the first comprehensive meta-analytical review of suicide and occupation. There is a need for future studies to investigate explanations for the observed skill-level differences, particularly in people employed in lower skill-level groups.
Notes Review Article
Language eng
DOI 10.1192/bjp.bp.113.128405
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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