A systematic analysis of online broadcasts of suicidality in China

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Abstract

Introduction:

This study attempts to analyze the epidemiological characteristics of online broadcasts of suicidality in China.

Methods:

A total of 193 incidents were identified by systematically searching for relevant news reports on the internet. A content analysis on these news reports was conducted to obtain information on the characteristics of each individual incident.

Results:

Of these incidents, the ratio of males to females was 1:1.7 (age: 24.6 ± 6.1 years old). Approximately 45.4% and 70.8% of incidents were located in the region of Eastern China and Southern China, respectively, and 15.7% of incidents were unemployed. The most common suicide method was wrist cutting (57.5%), and the most common suicide location was at home (35.2%). Instant messaging apps (52.8%) were most frequently used for broadcasting suicidal thoughts and actions. Relationship breakup (61.1%) was reported as the leading cause of suicide. Furthermore, of the 193 incidents, 19 indicated that they suffered from a mental disorder, and 12 revealed that they had a history of suicide attempts. There were significant gender, age, regional, and occupational differences across the categories.

Discussion:

This study indicates that in China, suicide prevention programmes need to target internet users.

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