Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

Low-planned suicides in China

a1 University of Rochester (UR) Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA
a2 UR Department of Psychiatry
a3 UR Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide
a4 Beijing Suicide Research and Prevention Center, Beijing Hui Long Guan Hospital, Beijing, China
a5 UR Department of Family Medicine
a6 UR Department of Community and Preventive Medicine
a7 Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Science, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China

Article author query
conner kr   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
phillips mr   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
meldrum s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
knox kl   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
zhang y   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
yang g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Background. Acts of suicide differ widely in the amount of planning preceding the act. Correlates of completed suicide in China identified in a previous investigation were re-examined to identify those that may be especially relevant to low-planned (impulsive) and high-planned suicidal behavior. The association of planning and method in completed suicide was also assessed.

Method. A psychological autopsy study of 505 suicide decedents aged [gt-or-equal, slanted]18 years sampled to be representative of suicides in China was conducted. Multinomial regression analyses compared three levels of suicide planning (low, intermediate, high).

Results. Women and younger individuals were more likely to carry out low-planned and intermediate-planned than high-planned acts of suicide. Greater acute stress distinguished low-planned from high-planned suicides. Ingestion of pesticides stored in the home was a more commonly employed method in low-planned than high-planned suicides.

Conclusions. Low-planned suicides are more common in women, in younger individuals, and among those who are experiencing acute stress. Prevention strategies targeted at restricting access to pesticides may preferentially lower the rate of low-planned suicides.

c1 University of Rochester Medical Center, 300 Crittenden Blvd, Rochester, NY 14642, USA. (Email: