Does the volume of Internet searches using suicide-related search terms influence the suicide death rate: data from 2004 to 2009 in Japan

Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2011 Jun;65(4):392-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2011.02216.x. Epub 2011 May 16.

Abstract

Cross-correlation was examined for the volume of suicide-related Internet searches and suicide death rate. Analysis of Google data and figures released by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare indicated that the volume of searches using the search terms jisatsu (suicide) and jisatsu houhou (suicide method) are not correlated with the suicide death rate. In addition, a rising suicide death rate might be related to the increase in suicide-related search activity (particularly utsu[depression]), but an increase in suicide-related search activity itself is not directly linked to the rise of suicide death rate.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Japan
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Suicide / trends