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|Title:||A study of suicides in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.|
|Authors:||Thacore, Vinrod Rai|
Varma, Shashjit Lal
|Abstract:||OBJECTIVE: To study suicides occurring in Ballarat with regard to incidence, demographic variables, possible causal factors, and association with psychiatric disorders over a period of 5 years. METHOD: A detailed review of the coroner's record of every suicide occurring during 1992-1996 was undertaken. Information was obtained on socio-demographic variables, method and circumstances of suicide, and associated psychiatric disorders in each case and subjected to psychological autopsy. RESULTS: 75 suicides were recorded. The male to female ratio was 4:1 and average age was 43 years. 60% had associated psychiatric illnesses, mainly affective disorders. Carbon monoxide self-poisoning accounted for 40%, firearms for 30%, and hanging, overdose, asphyxia and other methods for the remaining 30%. It was statistically significant that the younger age group preferred firearms to other methods, and that their suicides were precipitated by interpersonal conflicts. Social and personal difficulties were associated in 33%, and triggering factors were present in 40%. Previous suicide attempts were present in 28%, while 32% had manifest behavior changes preceding suicides or verbalized their intent to suicide. CONCLUSIONS: Suicide rates in Ballarat were higher than the average overall Victorian and Australian rates. After a consistent decline over 4 years an increase occurred in 1996. The preferred method of suicide was carbon monoxide, although the young preferred firearms. Demographic and other psychosocial factors were similar to the rest of Australia. Unemployment was not a significant factor. Psychiatric conditions, personal and social problems figured prominently as factors of etiological significance in suicide subjects.|
|Internal ID Number:||00227|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Output|
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