Protective factors against suicide among young-old Chinese outpatients

Ying Jen Chen, Yun Fang Tsai*, Shwu Hua Lee, Hsiu Lan Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Suicide is common among the elderly worldwide. However, no literature could be found on the beliefs/expectations that protect young-old people from attempting suicide. The purpose of this study was to explore young-old outpatients' reasons for not killing themselves in Taiwan. Method. Data for this qualitative descriptive study were extracted from a large research series. From the 83 elderly outpatients in the original sample, 31 were chosen for this study because they were young-old (65-74 years old) and from two randomly selected medical centers in northern Taiwan. Data on participants' reasons for not killing themselves in unhappy situations were collected in individual interviews using a semi-structured guide and analyzed by content analysis. Results: Analysis of interview data identified six major themes: satisfied with one's life, suicide cannot resolve problems, fear of humiliating one's children, religious beliefs, never thought about suicide, and living in harmony with nature. Conclusion: These identified protective factors (reasons for living) could be added to suicide-prevention programs for the elderly. Our findings may also serve as a reference for geriatric researchers in western countries with increasing numbers of elderly ethnic minority immigrants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number372
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 04 2014

Keywords

  • Elderly suicide
  • Outpatients
  • Young-old people

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