Suicide and psychiatric hospitalization in Taiwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Mental illness is strongly associated with an increased risk of suicide. Psychiatric hospitalization provides the most intensive care for those with high suicide risk. Nevertheless, mental illness necessitating psychiatric hospitalization was strongly associated with suicide death. In contrast to the downsizing trend
of psychiatric beds in the Western world, the psychiatric bed capacity in Taiwan has steadily increased in recent decades. This report aimed to address the relationship between suicide and psychiatric hospitalization concerning the trend of change in rates of inpatient and postdischarge suicide, help-seeking behaviors of suicide cases, and length of stay in relation to inpatient and postdischarge suicide in Taiwan. There is a low recognition rate of psychiatric diagnosis, mainly by nonpsychiatric physicians, among individuals who died by suicide. Despite the rate of psychiatric service contacts in the preceding year before suicide in Taiwan was comparable to that in Western countries, there was a substantially lower rate of psychiatric hospitalization in the previous year in Taiwan than in Western countries. The inpatient suicide rate in Taiwan was at the lower end of those identified in all studies worldwide and declined among psychiatric inpatients admitted from 2002 to 2013 in Taiwan. In contrast, postdischarge suicide rate was comparable to the pooled estimates of postdischarge suicide in a meta-analysis and remained stable over the study
period. A longer stay in psychiatric hospitalization consistently decreases both inpatient and post-discharge suicides. These findings revealed the underdiagnosis and undertreatment of mental disorders for suicide prevention work in Taiwan. Our report underscores the proper use of psychiatric hospitalization for suicide prevention in the current context in Taiwan.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)337-341
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of suicidology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Cite this