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Revista chilena de neuro-psiquiatría

versión On-line ISSN 0717-9227

Resumen

GOMEZ CH, Alejandro et al. Psychological autopsies of thirty suicides of the IV Region of Chile. Rev. chil. neuro-psiquiatr. [online]. 2014, vol.52, n.1, pp.9-19. ISSN 0717-9227.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-92272014000100002.

Background: Suicide is a relevant public health problem in Chile. This is the first Chilean study with the psychological autopsy method (PA). Aims: a) to identify risk factors for suicide in Chilean victims; b) to identify risk indicators for early intervention; c) to assess acceptability of the PA method by informants. Method: Sample consisted of 30 subjects (24 males, six females) who commited suicide in the IV Region of Chile (December 2008-September 2010). Data was collected from informant interviews. Main instrument was the Psychological Autopsy Interview Protocol. Results: Mean age at suicide was 35.8 years. Most victims communicated suicidal intent before consummation. Almost all experienced negative life events, in many cases shortly before suicide. One half had attempted suicide previously, some during the preceding month. Thirty-six percent were in mental health treatments at time of death. A quarter had recently visited mental health professionals. Psychiatric disorders (ICD-10) were identified in 90%, mainly depressive and substance use disorders. Personality disorders were evident in eight victims (33%): dissocial (4), emotionally unstable (2), paranoid (1), and anxious (avoidant) (1). Conclusions: A high rate of psychiatric disorders was confirmed. Previous suicide attempts are sensitive predictors of completed suicide. Communication of suicide intent is frequent, and may be an opportunity for intervention. Suicide is often preceded by negative life events. Prevention of suicide may be improved by effective treatment of psychiatric disorders, and focused psychosocial interventions. Intensive follow-up of attempters seems highly relevant. PA is an acceptable method for informants.

Palabras clave : Suicide; Prevention; Autopsy.

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