Association of suicide with psychiatric hospitalization in Taiwan

Jia Chi Shan, Mei Chih Meg Tseng, Chin Hao Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: A knowledge gap exists in the relationship between suicide and psychiatric hospitalization in Asia. This study investigated inpatient service utilization before suicide and suicide risk at different periods of hospitalization in Taiwan. Methods: Using the National Health Insurance Research Database, we applied a nested case–control design with controls being alive on the date each case died by suicide. Results: A total of 56 939 suicide cases and 1 138 780 controls were included (2:1 male-to-female ratio). Only 5.7% of suicide cases had a history of psychiatric hospitalization in the preceding year. Patients with a history of psychiatric hospitalization were associated with a higher risk of inpatient and postdischarge suicide than those without prior hospitalization. The risk was greatest in the first postdischarge week, decreased gradually, and remained significantly elevated over 7 years after discharge. The suicide risk increased more in females. Patients with affective disorders had higher inpatient and postdischarge suicide risks than those with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Discussion: A low rate of psychiatric hospitalization before suicide implies that inpatient treatment of psychiatric disorders could be enhanced. Community-based approaches to suicide prevention can improve the treatment utilization of those with suicide risk and bridge continuous care from hospital to community.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12546
JournalAsia-Pacific Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • East Asia
  • epidemiology
  • hospitalization
  • sex factors
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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