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Article: A revisit on older adults suicides and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in Hong Kong

TitleA revisit on older adults suicides and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in Hong Kong
Authors
KeywordsElderly
Epidemic
Poisson Regression
The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
Issue Date2008
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/4294
Citation
International Journal Of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2008, v. 23 n. 12, p. 1231-1238 How to Cite?
AbstractBackground: The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 had an enormous impact on Hong Kong society and the suicide rate was also at its historical high, 18.6 per 100,000. The most significant increase was found among the older adults aged 65 or above. Methods: Poisson Regression Models were used to examine impact of the SARS epidemic on older adults suicides in Hong Kong. A complete set of the suicide statistics for the period 1993-2004 from the Coroners' Court were made available for the analysis. Chi-square test was used to compare the profile of the older adult suicide cases in the pre-SARS, peri-SARS and post-SARS periods. Results: It showed an excess of older adults suicides in April 2003, when compared to the month of April of the other years. A trough, instead of the usual summer peak, was observed in June, suggesting some of the older adults suicides might have been brought forward. On a year basis, the annual older adult's suicide rates in 2003 and 2004 were significantly higher than that in 2002, suggesting the suicide rate did not return to the level before the SARS epidemic. Based on the Coroners' suicide death records, overall severity of illness, level of dependency and worrying of having sickness among the older adult suicides were found to be significantly different in the pre-SARS, peri-SARS and post-SARS periods. Conclusion: The SARS epidemic was associated with an increase in older adults' suicide rate in April 2003 and some suicide deaths in June 2003 might have been brought forward. Moreover, an increase in the annual older adults' suicide rate in 2003 was observed and the rate in 2004 did not return to the level of 2002. Loneliness and disconnectedness among the older adults in the community were likely to be associated with the excess older adults' suicides in 2003. Maintaining and enhancing mental well being of the public over the period of epidemic is as important as curbing the spread of the epidemic. Attention and effort should also be made to enhance the community's ability to manage fear and anxiety, especially in vulnerable groups over the period of epidemic to prevent tragic and unnecessary suicide deaths. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/87799
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 2.699
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.382
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorCheung, YTen_HK
dc.contributor.authorChau, PHen_HK
dc.contributor.authorYip, PSFen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-06T09:34:35Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-06T09:34:35Z-
dc.date.issued2008en_HK
dc.identifier.citationInternational Journal Of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2008, v. 23 n. 12, p. 1231-1238en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0885-6230en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/87799-
dc.description.abstractBackground: The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 had an enormous impact on Hong Kong society and the suicide rate was also at its historical high, 18.6 per 100,000. The most significant increase was found among the older adults aged 65 or above. Methods: Poisson Regression Models were used to examine impact of the SARS epidemic on older adults suicides in Hong Kong. A complete set of the suicide statistics for the period 1993-2004 from the Coroners' Court were made available for the analysis. Chi-square test was used to compare the profile of the older adult suicide cases in the pre-SARS, peri-SARS and post-SARS periods. Results: It showed an excess of older adults suicides in April 2003, when compared to the month of April of the other years. A trough, instead of the usual summer peak, was observed in June, suggesting some of the older adults suicides might have been brought forward. On a year basis, the annual older adult's suicide rates in 2003 and 2004 were significantly higher than that in 2002, suggesting the suicide rate did not return to the level before the SARS epidemic. Based on the Coroners' suicide death records, overall severity of illness, level of dependency and worrying of having sickness among the older adult suicides were found to be significantly different in the pre-SARS, peri-SARS and post-SARS periods. Conclusion: The SARS epidemic was associated with an increase in older adults' suicide rate in April 2003 and some suicide deaths in June 2003 might have been brought forward. Moreover, an increase in the annual older adults' suicide rate in 2003 was observed and the rate in 2004 did not return to the level of 2002. Loneliness and disconnectedness among the older adults in the community were likely to be associated with the excess older adults' suicides in 2003. Maintaining and enhancing mental well being of the public over the period of epidemic is as important as curbing the spread of the epidemic. Attention and effort should also be made to enhance the community's ability to manage fear and anxiety, especially in vulnerable groups over the period of epidemic to prevent tragic and unnecessary suicide deaths. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/4294en_HK
dc.relation.ispartofInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatryen_HK
dc.rightsInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Copyright © John Wiley & Sons Ltd.en_HK
dc.subjectElderlyen_HK
dc.subjectEpidemicen_HK
dc.subjectPoisson Regressionen_HK
dc.subjectThe Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)en_HK
dc.titleA revisit on older adults suicides and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in Hong Kongen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0885-6230&volume=23&issue=12&spage=1231&epage=1238&date=2008&atitle=A+revisit+on+older+adults+suicides+and+Severe+Acute+Respiratory+Syndrome+(SARS)+epidemic+in+Hong+Kongen_HK
dc.identifier.emailChau, PH: phpchau@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.emailYip, PSF: sfpyip@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityChau, PH=rp00574en_HK
dc.identifier.authorityYip, PSF=rp00596en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1002/gps.2056en_HK
dc.identifier.pmid18500689-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-61749087966en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros163047en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros225138-
dc.identifier.hkuros152829-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-61749087966&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume23en_HK
dc.identifier.issue12en_HK
dc.identifier.spage1231en_HK
dc.identifier.epage1238en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000261446100003-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridCheung, YT=16635396700en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChau, PH=7102266397en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridYip, PSF=7102503720en_HK

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