Limits...
Information Accessibility of the Charcoal Burning Suicide Method in Mainland China.

Cheng Q, Chang SS, Guo Y, Yip PS - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: There has been a marked rise in suicide by charcoal burning (CB) in some East Asian countries but little is known about its incidence in mainland China.Two-thirds of the web links retrieved using the search engine contained detailed information about the CB suicide method, of which 15% showed pro-suicide attitudes, and the majority (86%) did not encourage people to seek help.Better surveillance and intervention strategies need to be developed and implemented.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: HKJC Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.

ABSTRACT

Background: There has been a marked rise in suicide by charcoal burning (CB) in some East Asian countries but little is known about its incidence in mainland China. We examined media-reported CB suicides and the availability of online information about the method in mainland China.

Methods: We extracted and analyzed data for i) the characteristics and trends of fatal and nonfatal CB suicides reported by mainland Chinese newspapers (1998-2014); ii) trends and geographic variations in online searches using keywords relating to CB suicide (2011-2014); and iii) the content of Internet search results.

Results: 109 CB suicide attempts (89 fatal and 20 nonfatal) were reported by newspapers in 13 out of the 31 provinces or provincial-level-municipalities in mainland China. There were increasing trends in the incidence of reported CB suicides and in online searches using CB-related keywords. The province-level search intensities were correlated with CB suicide rates (Spearman's correlation coefficient = 0.43 [95% confidence interval: 0.08-0.68]). Two-thirds of the web links retrieved using the search engine contained detailed information about the CB suicide method, of which 15% showed pro-suicide attitudes, and the majority (86%) did not encourage people to seek help.

Limitations: The incidence of CB suicide was based on newspaper reports and likely to be underestimated.

Conclusions: Mental health and suicide prevention professionals in mainland China should be alert to the increased use of this highly lethal suicide method. Better surveillance and intervention strategies need to be developed and implemented.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Baidu search activity for “charcoal burning suicide,” “charcoal burning,” “is charcoal burning suicide painful,” and “live broadcast charcoal burning suicide,” and their estimated trends.A: A 19-year-old man attempted suicide by burning charcoal in July 2013 and then tried again by overdosing in October 2013. The case was reported by a provincial newspaper on October 23, 2013 and the article was then reposted on many other news websites. B: A suicide pact with 3 deaths, including a couple in their 60s and their adult son, was reported by various newspapers on June 5, 2014 and the following few days. C: A 19-year-old man broadcast his charcoal burning suicide live on Sina Weibo (a social media website) and received over 20, 000 comments from Weibo users in about 10 hours. He was later found dead. This tragedy was reported by various media outlets on December 1, 2014 and the following few days.
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pone.0140686.g002: Baidu search activity for “charcoal burning suicide,” “charcoal burning,” “is charcoal burning suicide painful,” and “live broadcast charcoal burning suicide,” and their estimated trends.A: A 19-year-old man attempted suicide by burning charcoal in July 2013 and then tried again by overdosing in October 2013. The case was reported by a provincial newspaper on October 23, 2013 and the article was then reposted on many other news websites. B: A suicide pact with 3 deaths, including a couple in their 60s and their adult son, was reported by various newspapers on June 5, 2014 and the following few days. C: A 19-year-old man broadcast his charcoal burning suicide live on Sina Weibo (a social media website) and received over 20, 000 comments from Weibo users in about 10 hours. He was later found dead. This tragedy was reported by various media outlets on December 1, 2014 and the following few days.

Mentions: According to the Baidu Index, search activity on “charcoal burning suicide” and “charcoal burning” could be traced back to the first week of 2011. Simple linear regression analysis of search activity on “charcoal burning suicide” showed an upward trend (regression coefficient = 0.531; p = 0.001) (Fig 2a). Cook’s distances suggested three influential points which coincided with three widely reported cases (see Fig 2a and its note). After excluding major peak values, the increasing trend became lesser, with a coefficient of 0.229, but remained statistically significant (p<0.001).


Information Accessibility of the Charcoal Burning Suicide Method in Mainland China.

Cheng Q, Chang SS, Guo Y, Yip PS - PLoS ONE (2015)

Baidu search activity for “charcoal burning suicide,” “charcoal burning,” “is charcoal burning suicide painful,” and “live broadcast charcoal burning suicide,” and their estimated trends.A: A 19-year-old man attempted suicide by burning charcoal in July 2013 and then tried again by overdosing in October 2013. The case was reported by a provincial newspaper on October 23, 2013 and the article was then reposted on many other news websites. B: A suicide pact with 3 deaths, including a couple in their 60s and their adult son, was reported by various newspapers on June 5, 2014 and the following few days. C: A 19-year-old man broadcast his charcoal burning suicide live on Sina Weibo (a social media website) and received over 20, 000 comments from Weibo users in about 10 hours. He was later found dead. This tragedy was reported by various media outlets on December 1, 2014 and the following few days.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4608667&req=5

pone.0140686.g002: Baidu search activity for “charcoal burning suicide,” “charcoal burning,” “is charcoal burning suicide painful,” and “live broadcast charcoal burning suicide,” and their estimated trends.A: A 19-year-old man attempted suicide by burning charcoal in July 2013 and then tried again by overdosing in October 2013. The case was reported by a provincial newspaper on October 23, 2013 and the article was then reposted on many other news websites. B: A suicide pact with 3 deaths, including a couple in their 60s and their adult son, was reported by various newspapers on June 5, 2014 and the following few days. C: A 19-year-old man broadcast his charcoal burning suicide live on Sina Weibo (a social media website) and received over 20, 000 comments from Weibo users in about 10 hours. He was later found dead. This tragedy was reported by various media outlets on December 1, 2014 and the following few days.
Mentions: According to the Baidu Index, search activity on “charcoal burning suicide” and “charcoal burning” could be traced back to the first week of 2011. Simple linear regression analysis of search activity on “charcoal burning suicide” showed an upward trend (regression coefficient = 0.531; p = 0.001) (Fig 2a). Cook’s distances suggested three influential points which coincided with three widely reported cases (see Fig 2a and its note). After excluding major peak values, the increasing trend became lesser, with a coefficient of 0.229, but remained statistically significant (p<0.001).

Bottom Line: There has been a marked rise in suicide by charcoal burning (CB) in some East Asian countries but little is known about its incidence in mainland China.Two-thirds of the web links retrieved using the search engine contained detailed information about the CB suicide method, of which 15% showed pro-suicide attitudes, and the majority (86%) did not encourage people to seek help.Better surveillance and intervention strategies need to be developed and implemented.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: HKJC Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.

ABSTRACT

Background: There has been a marked rise in suicide by charcoal burning (CB) in some East Asian countries but little is known about its incidence in mainland China. We examined media-reported CB suicides and the availability of online information about the method in mainland China.

Methods: We extracted and analyzed data for i) the characteristics and trends of fatal and nonfatal CB suicides reported by mainland Chinese newspapers (1998-2014); ii) trends and geographic variations in online searches using keywords relating to CB suicide (2011-2014); and iii) the content of Internet search results.

Results: 109 CB suicide attempts (89 fatal and 20 nonfatal) were reported by newspapers in 13 out of the 31 provinces or provincial-level-municipalities in mainland China. There were increasing trends in the incidence of reported CB suicides and in online searches using CB-related keywords. The province-level search intensities were correlated with CB suicide rates (Spearman's correlation coefficient = 0.43 [95% confidence interval: 0.08-0.68]). Two-thirds of the web links retrieved using the search engine contained detailed information about the CB suicide method, of which 15% showed pro-suicide attitudes, and the majority (86%) did not encourage people to seek help.

Limitations: The incidence of CB suicide was based on newspaper reports and likely to be underestimated.

Conclusions: Mental health and suicide prevention professionals in mainland China should be alert to the increased use of this highly lethal suicide method. Better surveillance and intervention strategies need to be developed and implemented.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus