An Analysis of Suicide Attempts in Jaén Province (Andalusia-Spain)

David Sánchez-Teruel, José A. Muela-Martínez, Ana García-León

Abstract


Aim: Suicide is the leading cause of non-accidental death in Spain across both sexes and all age groups; however, data on suicide attempts by region are heterogeneous and little reported. This study aimed to examine the socio-demographic and epidemiological variables most strongly related to suicide attempts in Jaén province. Method: Data on people who had attempted suicide over a 26-month period (2009–2011) were collected from the emergency departments of two hospitals via their electronic medical record systems specific to the Autonomous Community of Andalusia (Spain). Descriptive and frequency statistics were obtained and the relationship among variables was examined. Results: Suicide attempters were aged 24 to 53 years, being primarily women (65.25%). The most frequent suicide method was medication ingestion (85.55%); thus, ingestion of toxic substances has become the preferred method among women (LR(3) = 14.731; p = .02). The hospitals discharged the patients (46.44%) or referred them to mental health services in the area (20.08%) following a suicide attempt. There were more hospital discharges when the attempt involved ingestion of toxic substances or self-harm (LR(12) = 20.603; p = .05), and in winter and spring (LR(12) = 69.772; p < .001). Conclusion: The need for emergency departments to have prevention and intervention procedures in place, specifically designed for suicide attempts and at-risk individuals, is discussed.

Keywords


epidemiology; suicide attempt; incident; emergency departments; hospital