Although thousands of people commit suicide worldwide each year, researchers and doctors do not have any method for evaluating a person's likelihood of thinking about or trying to commit suicide. An international group of scientists, in which the Hospital del Mar Research Institute (IMIM) has participated, has devised the first risk index in order to prevent suicides.
"It is of key importance to identify suicidal thoughts among people at increased risk. The most important contribution that our study has made is an international risk index to estimate the likelihood of a person moving on from these thoughts to any one of the following behaviours planning or trying to commit suicide", Jordi Alonso, head of the IMIM Healthcare Services Research Group, tells SINC.
The data used in the study, which also involved Josep M. Haro, a researcher at the Sant Joan de Du Healthcare Park, and which has been published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, come from the World Health Organisation (WHO) survey World Mental Health Surveys between 2001 and 2007, in which 108,705 adults from 21 countries responded to the Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
The study looks at suicidal behaviour rather than suicides that result in death, since it is based on interviews carried out with adults. The factors associated with such behaviour are being female, younger age groups, lower levels of education, not living with a partner, being unemployed, suffering from certain mental illnesses, having experienced troubles during childhood, and mental illnesses among parents.
We are all at the same risk
Suicidal behaviour rates are similar in both developed and developing countries. In addition, "all the risk factors are similar for both these sets of countries, so the index used to determine the risk of suicidal behaviour is valid in both cases", the expert explains.
However, in terms of mortality as a result of suicide, there are signif
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology