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      Challenges of Combining Perspectives

      Crisis

      Hogrefe Publishing

      trauma, asylum seekers, suicidal behavior, gender, cultural idioms of distress

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          Abstract

          Abstract. Background: Asylum seekers have increased risk of suicide and suicidal behavior, with differences related to origin, gender, and age. There are barriers to communication in clinical encounters between asylum seekers and clinicians. There is insufficient knowledge about how communication in the clinical encounter affects the suicide risk in female asylum seekers. Aims: To explore the documented communication between female asylum-seeking suicide attempters and clinicians and how it affects treatment. Method: The medical records of 18 asylum-seeking women who had attempted suicide were analyzed with content analysis. Results: Communication between patients and clinicians was affected by: the unbearable realities of the women; difficulties for clinicians in decoding languages of distress, and understanding trauma and subjective meanings of suicide; challenges of combining patients' and clinicians' perspectives; and a sense of shared powerlessness. Limitations: The medical records did not give direct access to the patient's experience, only to the patient as documented by the clinician. Conclusion: The results suggest that clinicians working with asylum seekers who have attempted suicide need to develop an understanding of social and cultural factors and of trauma issues. A question for further study is how an enhanced integration of context and subjectivity in psychiatric practice would equip clinicians for the specific challenges encountered.

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          Most cited references 24

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          Risk factors for suicide in China: a national case-control psychological autopsy study.

          Suicide is the fifth most important cause of death in China, but the reasons for the high rate and unique pattern of characteristics of those who kill themselves are unknown. We pretested, and then administered a comprehensive interview to family members and close associates of 519 people who committed suicide and of 536 people who died from other injuries (controls) randomly selected from 23 geographically representative sites in China. After adjustment for sex, age, location of residence, and research site, eight significant predictors of suicide remained in the final unconditional logistic regression model. In order of importance they were: high depression symptom score, previous suicide attempt, acute stress at time of death, low quality of life, high chronic stress, severe interpersonal conflict in the 2 days before death, a blood relative with previous suicidal behaviour, and a friend or associate with previous suicidal behaviour. Suicide risk increased substantially with exposure to multiple risk factors: none of the 265 deceased people who were exposed to one or fewer of the eight risk factors died by suicide, but 30% (90/299) with two or three risk factors, 85% (320/377) with four or five risk factors, and 96% (109/114) with six or more risk factors died by suicide. Despite substantial differences between characteristics of people who commit suicide in China and the west, risk factors for suicide do not differ greatly. Suicide prevention programmes that concentrate on a single risk factor are unlikely to reduce suicide rates substantially; preventive efforts should focus on individuals exposed to multiple risk factors.
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            A Current Perspective of Suicide and Attempted Suicide

             J John Mann (2002)
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              Rates, risk factors & methods of self harm among minority ethnic groups in the UK: a systematic review

              Background Studies suggest that the rates of self harm vary by ethnic group, but the evidence for variation in risk factors has not been synthesised to inform preventive initiatives. Methods We undertook a systematic literature review of research about self harm that compared at least two ethnic groups in the United Kingdom. Results 25 publications from 1765 titles and abstracts met our inclusion criteria. There was higher rate of self harm among South Asian women, compared with South Asian men and White women. In a pooled estimate from two studies, compared to their white counterparts, Asian women were more likely to self harm (Relative Risk 1.4, 95%CI: 1.1 to 1.8, p = 0.005), and Asian men were less likely to self harm (RR 0.5, 95% CI: 0.4 to 0.7, p < 0.001). Some studies concluded that South Asian adults self-harm impulsively in response to life events rather than in association with a psychiatric illness. Studies of adolescents showed similar methods of self harm and interpersonal disputes with parents and friends across ethnic groups. There were few studies of people of Caribbean, African and other minority ethnic groups, few studies took a population based and prospective design and few investigated self harm among prisoners, asylum seekers and refugees. Conclusion This review finds some ethnic differences in the nature and presentation of self harm. This argues for ethnic specific preventive actions. However, the literature does not comprehensively cover the UK's diverse ethnic groups.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                10.1027/0227-5910/a000504
                6267722
                29473476

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0

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