Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 207–216

Are hospital suicides on the increase?

A survey of reports on hospital suicides in the psychiatric literature of the 19th and 20th century
  • Manfred Wolfersdorf
  • Ferdinand Keller
  • Paul-Otto Schmidt-Michel
  • Christiane Weiskittel
  • Rüdiger Vogel
  • Günter Hole
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF01787819

Cite this article as:
Wolfersdorf, M., Keller, F., Schmidt-Michel, P. et al. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (1988) 23: 207. doi:10.1007/BF01787819
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Summary

The first part of our paper provides an overview of literature on clinic suicides in regard to suicide numbers and rates. The main focus of attention is on articles from the last 30 years. The second part examines the hypothesis that there exists a linear increase in both the number of admission and the absolute number of suicides, and thus a connection between increases in admissions and discharges and in suicides. Using selected examples, we found less where there was a direct connection between patient turnover and the number of suicides (with the suicide rate remaining constant), and others in which suicide rates also increased, seeming to indicate the influence of other factors. A list of selected studies from the psychiatric literature of the 19th century suggests that clinic suicide is one of the oldest problems known to psychiatry and that suicide rates calculated from 19th century data are by and large comparable to those of today. Clinic suicide would thus appear to be a problem of psychiatry in general and not only one of modern psychiatry or of modern methods of treatment.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred Wolfersdorf
    • 1
  • Ferdinand Keller
    • 1
  • Paul-Otto Schmidt-Michel
    • 1
  • Christiane Weiskittel
    • 2
  • Rüdiger Vogel
    • 3
  • Günter Hole
    • 1
  1. 1.Abteilung Psychiatric Psychiatrisches Landeskrankenhaus WeissenauUniversität UlmRegensburg-WeissenauGermany
  2. 2.Psychiatrisches Landeskrankenhaus EmmendingenGermany
  3. 3.Psychiatrisches Landeskrankenhaus GünzburgUniversität UlmGermany