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Article: Evaluating the effectiveness of barrier installation for preventing railway suicides in Hong Kong
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TitleEvaluating the effectiveness of barrier installation for preventing railway suicides in Hong Kong
 
AuthorsLaw, CK1
Yip, PSF1
Chan, WSC1
Fu, KW1
Wong, PWC1
Law, YW1
 
KeywordsPlatform screen door
Railway suicide
Restriction to means
Substitution effect
Suicide prevention
 
Issue Date2009
 
PublisherElsevier BV. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jad
 
CitationJournal Of Affective Disorders, 2009, v. 114 n. 1-3, p. 254-262 [How to Cite?]
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2008.07.021
 
AbstractBackground: Railway suicide is a serious mortality issue. Most attempters are unmarried psychotic young men under psychiatric care having a high level of lethal intent. Installation of platform screen doors (PSDs) to limit access to the track has been suggested as an effective way for prevention. This study aims to examine the effectiveness of installing PSDs for preventing railway suicides; any sign of substitution of suicide location; and changes in psychiatric profile of suicide deceased after the PSD installation in the subway system of Hong Kong. Methods: Cases of railway suicide and related information from 1997 to 2007 were provided by the railway operators and the Coroner's Court. The effectiveness of installing PSDs was assessed through a quasi-experimental setting. Poisson regression and chi-squared test were used. Results: Over the 11-year study period, a total of 76 railway suicide cases (0.71% of all suicides) were reported. A significant reduction of 59.9% (p = 0.0003) in railway suicides was found after the PSD installation. Analyses confirmed that there was no significant sign of substitution by displacing potential attempters to unsealed platforms (p = 0.9051). Those having psychosis would be better protected as no suicide cases with such psychiatric background were reported after the installation of PSDs. Limitations: It has not considered the potential economic benefits of PSD. It is difficult if not possible to examine whether the potential attempters would substitute to an alternative method of suicide. Conclusions: This study shows that PSDs can effectively prevent suicides with no substitution by "delethalizing" the image and altering people's perception about the desirability of railway suicide. Railway operators should extend the coverage of PSD to all railway stations in Hong Kong without any delay. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
 
ISSN0165-0327
2013 Impact Factor: 3.705
2013 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.847
 
DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2008.07.021
 
ISI Accession Number IDWOS:000264223900028
 
ReferencesReferences in Scopus
 
DC FieldValue
dc.contributor.authorLaw, CK
 
dc.contributor.authorYip, PSF
 
dc.contributor.authorChan, WSC
 
dc.contributor.authorFu, KW
 
dc.contributor.authorWong, PWC
 
dc.contributor.authorLaw, YW
 
dc.date.accessioned2010-05-31T04:23:04Z
 
dc.date.available2010-05-31T04:23:04Z
 
dc.date.issued2009
 
dc.description.abstractBackground: Railway suicide is a serious mortality issue. Most attempters are unmarried psychotic young men under psychiatric care having a high level of lethal intent. Installation of platform screen doors (PSDs) to limit access to the track has been suggested as an effective way for prevention. This study aims to examine the effectiveness of installing PSDs for preventing railway suicides; any sign of substitution of suicide location; and changes in psychiatric profile of suicide deceased after the PSD installation in the subway system of Hong Kong. Methods: Cases of railway suicide and related information from 1997 to 2007 were provided by the railway operators and the Coroner's Court. The effectiveness of installing PSDs was assessed through a quasi-experimental setting. Poisson regression and chi-squared test were used. Results: Over the 11-year study period, a total of 76 railway suicide cases (0.71% of all suicides) were reported. A significant reduction of 59.9% (p = 0.0003) in railway suicides was found after the PSD installation. Analyses confirmed that there was no significant sign of substitution by displacing potential attempters to unsealed platforms (p = 0.9051). Those having psychosis would be better protected as no suicide cases with such psychiatric background were reported after the installation of PSDs. Limitations: It has not considered the potential economic benefits of PSD. It is difficult if not possible to examine whether the potential attempters would substitute to an alternative method of suicide. Conclusions: This study shows that PSDs can effectively prevent suicides with no substitution by "delethalizing" the image and altering people's perception about the desirability of railway suicide. Railway operators should extend the coverage of PSD to all railway stations in Hong Kong without any delay. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
 
dc.description.natureLink_to_subscribed_fulltext
 
dc.identifier.citationJournal Of Affective Disorders, 2009, v. 114 n. 1-3, p. 254-262 [How to Cite?]
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2008.07.021
 
dc.identifier.doihttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2008.07.021
 
dc.identifier.epage262
 
dc.identifier.hkuros163012
 
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000264223900028
 
dc.identifier.issn0165-0327
2013 Impact Factor: 3.705
2013 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.847
 
dc.identifier.issue1-3
 
dc.identifier.openurl
 
dc.identifier.pmid18789825
 
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-59649087135
 
dc.identifier.spage254
 
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/60965
 
dc.identifier.volume114
 
dc.languageeng
 
dc.publisherElsevier BV. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jad
 
dc.publisher.placeNetherlands
 
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Affective Disorders
 
dc.relation.referencesReferences in Scopus
 
dc.rightsJournal of Affective Disorders. Copyright © Elsevier BV.
 
dc.subjectPlatform screen door
 
dc.subjectRailway suicide
 
dc.subjectRestriction to means
 
dc.subjectSubstitution effect
 
dc.subjectSuicide prevention
 
dc.titleEvaluating the effectiveness of barrier installation for preventing railway suicides in Hong Kong
 
dc.typeArticle
 
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Author Affiliations
  1. The University of Hong Kong