Seasonality in suicide - A review and search of new concepts for explaining the heterogeneous phenomena

  • Ajdacic-Gross V
  • Bopp M
  • Ring M
 et al. 
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Abstract

Seasonality is one of the oldest and most resistant-to-elucidation issues in suicide research. However, in recent years epidemiological research has yielded new results, which provide new perspectives on the matter. This qualitative review summarizes research published since the 1990s. In particular, the focus is on studies dealing with the historical change of seasonality, cross-sectional comparisons including method-specific diversity, and the association with weather variables and other putative covariates. Recent research has shown that in Western countries the seasonality of suicide is tending to diminish and may, eventually, disappear. It can no longer be considered a universal and homogeneous phenomenon. In addition, different major seasonal cycles have now been determined which mainly depend on different suicide methods. Just as in the epidemiology of suicide methods, the (seasonal) availability and perceived adequacy of methods emerge as the major driving force beyond the seasonal phenomena in suicide. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Review
  • Seasonality
  • Suicide

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