Time trends in coroners' use of different verdicts for possible suicides and their impact on officially reported incidence of suicide in England: 1990-2005Citation formats

  • External authors:
  • D. Gunnell
  • O. Bennewith
  • S. Simkin
  • J. Cooper
  • E. Klineberg
  • L. Sutton
  • C. Wells
  • K. Hawton

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Time trends in coroners' use of different verdicts for possible suicides and their impact on officially reported incidence of suicide in England: 1990-2005. / Gunnell, D.; Bennewith, O.; Simkin, S.; Cooper, J.; Klineberg, E.; Rodway, C.; Sutton, L.; Steeg, S.; Wells, C.; Hawton, K.; Kapur, N.

In: Psychological Medicine, Vol. 43, No. 7, 07.2013, p. 1415-1422.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Gunnell, D, Bennewith, O, Simkin, S, Cooper, J, Klineberg, E, Rodway, C, Sutton, L, Steeg, S, Wells, C, Hawton, K & Kapur, N 2013, 'Time trends in coroners' use of different verdicts for possible suicides and their impact on officially reported incidence of suicide in England: 1990-2005', Psychological Medicine, vol. 43, no. 7, pp. 1415-1422. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291712002401

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Author

Gunnell, D. ; Bennewith, O. ; Simkin, S. ; Cooper, J. ; Klineberg, E. ; Rodway, C. ; Sutton, L. ; Steeg, S. ; Wells, C. ; Hawton, K. ; Kapur, N. / Time trends in coroners' use of different verdicts for possible suicides and their impact on officially reported incidence of suicide in England: 1990-2005. In: Psychological Medicine. 2013 ; Vol. 43, No. 7. pp. 1415-1422.

Bibtex

@article{ab76a8a5ae4e4448a0e64cbd9036484f,
title = "Time trends in coroners' use of different verdicts for possible suicides and their impact on officially reported incidence of suicide in England: 1990-2005",
abstract = "Background Official suicide statistics for England are based on deaths given suicide verdicts and most cases given an open verdict following a coroner's inquest. Previous research indicates that some deaths given accidental verdicts are considered to be suicides by clinicians. Changes in coroners' use of different verdicts may bias suicide trend estimates. We investigated whether suicide trends may be over-or underestimated when they are based on deaths given suicide and open verdicts. Method Possible suicides assessed by 12 English coroners in 1990/91, 1998 and 2005 and assigned open, accident/misadventure or narrative verdicts were rated by three experienced suicide researchers according to the likelihood that they were suicides. Details of all suicide verdicts given by these coroners were also recorded. Results In 1990/91, 72.0{\%} of researcher-defined suicides received a suicide verdict from the coroner, this decreased to 65.4{\%} in 2005 (p trend <0.01); equivalent figures for combined suicide and open verdicts were 95.4{\%} (1990/91) and 86.7{\%} (2005). Researcher-defined suicides with a verdict of accident/misadventure doubled over that period, from 4.6{\%} to 9.1{\%} (p <0.01). Narrative verdict cases rose from zero in 1990/91 to 25 in 2005 (4.2{\%} of researcher-defined suicides that year). In 1998 and 2005, 50.0{\%} of the medicine poisoning deaths given accidental/misadventure verdicts were rated as suicide by the researchers. Conclusions Between 1990/91 and 2005, the proportion of researcher-defined suicides given a suicide verdict by coroners decreased, largely due to an increased use of accident/misadventure verdicts, particularly for deaths involving poisoning. Consideration should be given to the inclusion of 'accidental' deaths by poisoning with medicines in the statistics available for monitoring suicides rates. {\circledC} 2012 Cambridge University Press.",
keywords = "Cause of death, classification methods, suicide, suicide statistics, time trends",
author = "D. Gunnell and O. Bennewith and S. Simkin and J. Cooper and E. Klineberg and C. Rodway and L. Sutton and S. Steeg and C. Wells and K. Hawton and N. Kapur",
year = "2013",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1017/S0033291712002401",
language = "English",
volume = "43",
pages = "1415--1422",
journal = "Psychological Medicine, accepted 9 December 2014",
issn = "0033-2917",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "7",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Time trends in coroners' use of different verdicts for possible suicides and their impact on officially reported incidence of suicide in England: 1990-2005

AU - Gunnell, D.

AU - Bennewith, O.

AU - Simkin, S.

AU - Cooper, J.

AU - Klineberg, E.

AU - Rodway, C.

AU - Sutton, L.

AU - Steeg, S.

AU - Wells, C.

AU - Hawton, K.

AU - Kapur, N.

PY - 2013/7

Y1 - 2013/7

N2 - Background Official suicide statistics for England are based on deaths given suicide verdicts and most cases given an open verdict following a coroner's inquest. Previous research indicates that some deaths given accidental verdicts are considered to be suicides by clinicians. Changes in coroners' use of different verdicts may bias suicide trend estimates. We investigated whether suicide trends may be over-or underestimated when they are based on deaths given suicide and open verdicts. Method Possible suicides assessed by 12 English coroners in 1990/91, 1998 and 2005 and assigned open, accident/misadventure or narrative verdicts were rated by three experienced suicide researchers according to the likelihood that they were suicides. Details of all suicide verdicts given by these coroners were also recorded. Results In 1990/91, 72.0% of researcher-defined suicides received a suicide verdict from the coroner, this decreased to 65.4% in 2005 (p trend <0.01); equivalent figures for combined suicide and open verdicts were 95.4% (1990/91) and 86.7% (2005). Researcher-defined suicides with a verdict of accident/misadventure doubled over that period, from 4.6% to 9.1% (p <0.01). Narrative verdict cases rose from zero in 1990/91 to 25 in 2005 (4.2% of researcher-defined suicides that year). In 1998 and 2005, 50.0% of the medicine poisoning deaths given accidental/misadventure verdicts were rated as suicide by the researchers. Conclusions Between 1990/91 and 2005, the proportion of researcher-defined suicides given a suicide verdict by coroners decreased, largely due to an increased use of accident/misadventure verdicts, particularly for deaths involving poisoning. Consideration should be given to the inclusion of 'accidental' deaths by poisoning with medicines in the statistics available for monitoring suicides rates. © 2012 Cambridge University Press.

AB - Background Official suicide statistics for England are based on deaths given suicide verdicts and most cases given an open verdict following a coroner's inquest. Previous research indicates that some deaths given accidental verdicts are considered to be suicides by clinicians. Changes in coroners' use of different verdicts may bias suicide trend estimates. We investigated whether suicide trends may be over-or underestimated when they are based on deaths given suicide and open verdicts. Method Possible suicides assessed by 12 English coroners in 1990/91, 1998 and 2005 and assigned open, accident/misadventure or narrative verdicts were rated by three experienced suicide researchers according to the likelihood that they were suicides. Details of all suicide verdicts given by these coroners were also recorded. Results In 1990/91, 72.0% of researcher-defined suicides received a suicide verdict from the coroner, this decreased to 65.4% in 2005 (p trend <0.01); equivalent figures for combined suicide and open verdicts were 95.4% (1990/91) and 86.7% (2005). Researcher-defined suicides with a verdict of accident/misadventure doubled over that period, from 4.6% to 9.1% (p <0.01). Narrative verdict cases rose from zero in 1990/91 to 25 in 2005 (4.2% of researcher-defined suicides that year). In 1998 and 2005, 50.0% of the medicine poisoning deaths given accidental/misadventure verdicts were rated as suicide by the researchers. Conclusions Between 1990/91 and 2005, the proportion of researcher-defined suicides given a suicide verdict by coroners decreased, largely due to an increased use of accident/misadventure verdicts, particularly for deaths involving poisoning. Consideration should be given to the inclusion of 'accidental' deaths by poisoning with medicines in the statistics available for monitoring suicides rates. © 2012 Cambridge University Press.

KW - Cause of death

KW - classification methods

KW - suicide

KW - suicide statistics

KW - time trends

U2 - 10.1017/S0033291712002401

DO - 10.1017/S0033291712002401

M3 - Article

VL - 43

SP - 1415

EP - 1422

JO - Psychological Medicine, accepted 9 December 2014

JF - Psychological Medicine, accepted 9 December 2014

SN - 0033-2917

IS - 7

ER -