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Access to means of suicide, occupation and the risk of suicide: a national study over 12 years of coronial data

Milner, A, Witt, K, Maheen, H and LaMontagne, AD 2017, Access to means of suicide, occupation and the risk of suicide: a national study over 12 years of coronial data, BMC psychiatry, vol. 17, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1186/s12888-017-1288-0.

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Title Access to means of suicide, occupation and the risk of suicide: a national study over 12 years of coronial data
Author(s) Milner, AORCID iD for Milner, A orcid.org/0000-0003-4657-0503
Witt, K
Maheen, H
LaMontagne, ADORCID iD for LaMontagne, AD orcid.org/0000-0002-5811-5906
Journal name BMC psychiatry
Volume number 17
Article ID 125
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017
ISSN 1471-244X
1471-244X
Keyword(s) Coroners’ data
Lethal means
Occupation health
Suicide
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Psychiatry
Coroners' data
Summary Background
Availability of lethal means is a significant risk factor for suicide. This study investigated whether occupations with greater access to lethal means had higher suicide rates than those without access, and further, whether this relationship differed for females versus males.

Methods
A retrospective mortality study was conducted across the Australian population over the period 2001 to 2012. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which collects Census information on occupation for the Australian population, and the National Coroners Information System, which records information on suicide deaths, were combined. Employed suicide records were coded by occupation and work-related access to lethal means. Descriptive analysis and negative binomial regression were used to assess the relationship between access to means and suicide.

Results

Persons in occupations with access to firearms, medicines or drugs, and carbon monoxide more frequently used these methods to end their lives than those without access to means. Females employed in occupations with access to means had suicide rates that were 3.02 times greater (95% CI 2.60 to 3.50, p < 0.001) than those employed in occupations without access. Males in occupations with access had suicide rates that were 1.24 times greater than those without access (95% CI 1.16 to 1.33, p < 0.001).

Conclusion
Work-related access to means is a risk factor for suicide in the employed population, but is associated with a greater risk for females than males. The findings of this study suggest the importance of controlling access to lethal methods in occupations where these are readily available.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12888-017-1288-0
Field of Research 111714 Mental Health
111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
1103 Clinical Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30095470

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
Population Health
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.