Controlling firearms use in Australia: has the 1996 gun law reform produced the decrease in rates of suicide with this method?
ABSTRACT Observed reductions in firearm suicides in Australia have been linked to the 1997 national firearms agreement (NFA) introduced following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre. The NFA placed strong access restrictions on firearms.
To assess the impact of legislative restrictions on the incidence of firearm suicide in Queensland and explore alternative or contributory factors behind observed declines.
The Queensland suicide register (QSR) provided detailed information on all male suicides in Queensland (1990-2004), with additional data for Australia (1968-2004) accessed from other official sources. Trends in suicide rates pre/post NFA, and in method selection, were assessed using negative binomial regressions. Changing method selection patterns were examined using a cohort analysis of 5 years of age classes for Australian males.
The observed reduction in firearms suicides was initiated prior to the 1997 introduction of the NFA in Queensland and Australia, with a clear decline observed in Australian figures from 1988. No significant difference was found in the rate pre/post the introduction of the NFA in Queensland; however, a significant difference was found for Australian data, the quality of which is noticeably less satisfactory. A marked age-difference in method choice was observed through a cohort analysis demonstrating both time and age influences. Within sequential birth cohorts, rates of firearms suicides decreased in younger males but increased in hanging suicides; this trend was far less marked in older males.
The implemented restrictions may not be responsible for the observed reductions in firearms suicide. Data suggest that a change in social and cultural attitudes could have contributed to the shift in method preference.
SourceAvailable from: Wenbiao Hu[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Objective: This study explores the spatiotemporal variations of suicide across Australia from 1986 to 2005, discusses the reasons for dynamic changes, and considers future suicide research and prevention strategies. Design: Suicide (1986-2005) and population data were obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. A series of analyses were conducted to examine the suicide pattern by sex, method and age group over time and geography. Results: Differences in suicide rates across sex, age groups and suicide methods were found across geographical areas. Male suicides were mainly completed by hanging, firearms, gases and self-poisoning. Female suicides were primarily completed by hanging and self-poisoning. Suicide rates were higher in rural areas than in urban areas (capital cities and regional centres). Suicide rates by firearms were higher in rural areas than in urban areas, while the pattern for self-poisoning showed the reverse trend. Suicide rates had relatively stable trend for the total population and those aged between 15 and 54, while suicide decreased among 55 years and over during the study period. There was a decrease in suicides by firearms during the study period especially after 1996 when a new firearm control law was implemented, while suicide by hanging continued to increase. Areas with a high proportion of indigenous population (eg, northwest of Queensland and top north of the Northern Territory) had shown a substantial increase in suicide incidence after 1995. Conclusions: Suicide rates varied over time and space and across sexes, age groups and suicide methods. This study provides detailed patterns of suicide to inform suicide control and prevention strategies for specific subgroups and areas of high and increased risk.BMJ Open 07/2014; 4(7):e005311. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005311 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Suicide rates in Hungary have been analyzed from different aspects in recent decades. However, only descriptive rates have been reported. The aim of our epidemiological study was to characterize the pattern of annual rates of suicide in Hungary during the period 1963-2011 by applying advanced statistical methods.Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 07/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00127-014-0926-9 · 2.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Suicide rates in China are among the highest in the world, although there has been a decreasing trend in the past few years. One practical approach to study the characteristics and risk factors of suicide is to interview the suicide attempters. It was to compare completed suicides with serious attempters that may shed lights on suicide prevention strategies. This is a combination of two case control studies for suicide completers and suicide attempters respectively. After a sample of suicides (n=392) and community living controls (n=416) were obtained and studied in rural China, we collected in the same rural areas data of suicide attempt and studied 507 medically serious attempters and 503 community counterparts. Characteristics and previously observed risk factors were compared between the suicides and the attempters, and we found that the demographic characteristics and risk factors for the suicides were also for the medically serious attempters but at some lesser degrees for the attempters than for the suicides. It was especially true of suicide intent, deficient coping, negative life events, and impulsivity. While most of the demographic characteristics were not significantly different between the suicides and the attempters, most of the clinical variables could distinguish the two groups. The suicide victims and the serious attempters could be of the same group of people who were at the edge of fatal self-injury, and the same clinical risk factors but of different degrees have divided them into the life and death groups. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Journal of Affective Disorders 02/2015; 176C:176-182. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2015.02.005 · 3.76 Impact Factor