Effectiveness of a nationwide aftercare program for suicide attempters

Psychol Med. 2013 Jul;43(7):1447-54. doi: 10.1017/S0033291712002425. Epub 2012 Oct 23.


Background: The effectiveness of large-scale interventions to prevent suicide among persons who previously attempted suicide remains to be determined. The National Suicide Surveillance System (NSSS), launched in Taiwan in 2006, is a structured nationwide intervention program for people who survived their suicide attempts. This naturalistic study examined its effectiveness using data from the first 3 years of its operation. Method Effectiveness of the NSSS aftercare services was examined using a logistic/proportional odds mixture model, with eventual suicide as the outcome of interest. As well, we examined time until death for those who died and factors associated with eventual suicide.

Results: Receipt of aftercare services was associated with reduced risk for subsequent suicide; for service recipients who eventually killed themselves, there was a prolonged duration between the index and fatal attempts. Elderly attempters were particularly prone to a shorter duration between the index and fatal attempts. Male gender, the lethality potential of the index attempt, and a history of having had a mental disorder also were associated with higher risk.

Conclusions: The structured aftercare program of the NSSS appears to decrease suicides and to delay time to death for those who remained susceptible to suicide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aftercare / methods*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Suicide / prevention & control*
  • Suicide, Attempted*
  • Taiwan
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult