Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/69536
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Type: Journal article
Title: Prevalence of suicidal behaviours in two Australian general population surveys: methodological considerations when comparing across studies
Author: Fairweather-Schmidt, A.
Anstey, K.
Citation: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology: the international journal for research in social and genetic epidemiology and mental health services, 2012; 47(4):515-522
Publisher: Dr. Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1433-9285
1433-9285
Statement of
Responsibility: 
A. Kate Fairweather-Schmidt, Kaarin J. Anstey
Abstract: Purpose: To investigate whether methodological differences between two Australian general population surveys have the capacity to affect the apparent prevalence rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Methods: 609 Wave 1 of the Personality and Total Health (PATH) Through Life Project participants, and 83 participants derived from the 1997 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (NSMHWB) met the criteria for inclusion (suicidal ideation/suicide attempt). Analysis involved Chi-square and binary logistic regression. Results: Twelve-month prevalence rates for suicidal ideation and suicide attempt were 8.2%, (95% CI = 7.6–8.8) and 0.8% (95% CI = 0.6–1.0) for PATH (N = 7,485), and contrast with 2.9% (95% CI = 2.6–3.2) and 0.3% (95% CI = 0.2–0.5) for NSMHWB (N = 10,641) samples, respectively. While notable discrepancies are apparent between the prevalence statistics, both sets of statistics are within the bounds of other Australian and international studies. Parallel rate disparities for suicidal ideation are found across age-by-gender groups. Aside from differences in the basic prevalence rates, surveys have analogous age-by-gender profiles for suicidal ideation. Conclusions: While it is possible that samples are representative of the populations from which they are derived, 12-month prevalence rate discrepancies between PATH and NSMHWB surveys are likely to originate from demographic and survey methodology differences. Where investigations employ different methodologies, especially in relation to modes of survey administration and the assessment items utilised, a cautious approach should be taken when comparing findings.
Keywords: Suicidality
Survey methodology
Prevalence
Age
Gender
Rights: © Springer-Verlag 2011
DOI: 10.1007/s00127-011-0369-5
Grant ID: http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/179805
http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/79839
http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/366756
Published version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00127-011-0369-5
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 5
Psychology publications

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