Dynamic pattern of suicide in Australia, 1986-2005: A descriptive-analytic study

Qi, Xin, Hu, Wenbiao, Page, Andrew, & Tong, Shilu (2014) Dynamic pattern of suicide in Australia, 1986-2005: A descriptive-analytic study. BMJ Open, 4(7), pp. 1-12.

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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.


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.


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.


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.

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1 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 88676
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005311
ISSN: 2044-6055
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Authors
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with
the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license,
which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work noncommercially,
and license their derivative works on different terms, provided
the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://
Deposited On: 02 Nov 2015 00:46
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 21:01

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