Can suicides be identified from case records? A case-control study using blind rating

Fahy, Thomas J., Mannion, Laura, Leonard, Maeve and Prescott, Philip (2004) Can suicides be identified from case records? A case-control study using blind rating. Archives of Suicide Research, 8, (3), 263-269. (doi:10.1080/13811110490436918).


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A majority of case control studies of suicide risks in psychiatric patients reveal an excess of risk factors in cases. None of the case control studies has been conducted blind to case identity. The present study examined the possibility that skilled clinicians could identify suicides blind from case records of last episode of care.

Records of 39 suicides of psychiatric patients and their matched controls (N = 78) were abstracted blind and dichotomously rated for suicide by seven raters. Success in identification of cases approximated to chance expectation. Pending replication, these disappointing findings call in question the clinical utility of risk factor findings to date, their validity as a basis for significant change in service provision and the medico-legal significance of records in suicide-related civil law suits.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/13811110490436918
ISSNs: 1381-1118 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: blind rating, case control, suicide
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Mathematics > Statistics
ePrint ID: 30004
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 12 May 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:56

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