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

Maps of publicized CB suicide rates and CB-related online search rates across 31 provinces and provincial-level municipalities in mainland China (2011–2014).
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pone.0140686.g003: Maps of publicized CB suicide rates and CB-related online search rates across 31 provinces and provincial-level municipalities in mainland China (2011–2014).

Mentions: The Spearman’s correlation coefficient between internet search rates and publicized CB suicide rates was 0.43 (95% CI 0.08 to 0.68), indicating that provinces with higher rates of publicized CB suicide also tend to have higher internet search rates. Fig 3a shows that the rate of publicized CB suicide is highest in Guangdong Province, Beijing, and Shanghai. Beijing and Shanghai are the two biggest cities in mainland China, where national media outlets cluster largely. Guangdong Province is bordered with Hong Kong SAR and also has an energetic market of metropolitan newspapers. Fig 3b shows that the internet search rates were highest in the three provincial-level municipalities, namely Tianjin, Beijing, and Shanghai. However, the search rate was relatively low in Guangdong, diluted by its massive number of internet users (see details in Table 2).


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

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

Maps of publicized CB suicide rates and CB-related online search rates across 31 provinces and provincial-level municipalities in mainland China (2011–2014).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0140686.g003: Maps of publicized CB suicide rates and CB-related online search rates across 31 provinces and provincial-level municipalities in mainland China (2011–2014).
Mentions: The Spearman’s correlation coefficient between internet search rates and publicized CB suicide rates was 0.43 (95% CI 0.08 to 0.68), indicating that provinces with higher rates of publicized CB suicide also tend to have higher internet search rates. Fig 3a shows that the rate of publicized CB suicide is highest in Guangdong Province, Beijing, and Shanghai. Beijing and Shanghai are the two biggest cities in mainland China, where national media outlets cluster largely. Guangdong Province is bordered with Hong Kong SAR and also has an energetic market of metropolitan newspapers. Fig 3b shows that the internet search rates were highest in the three provincial-level municipalities, namely Tianjin, Beijing, and Shanghai. However, the search rate was relatively low in Guangdong, diluted by its massive number of internet users (see details in Table 2).

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