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Open verdict v. suicide - importance to research

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kurt Schapira, Dr Thomas Kelly


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Background Open verdicts are often included in with suicides for research purposes and for setting health targets. Aims To examine similarities and differences in cases defined by the coroner as suicide and open verdicts and the implications of open verdicts for suicide research. Method All cases of open and suicide verdicts recorded in the Newcastle Coroner's Court in the period 1985-1994 were compared on demographic and medical parameters. Results Open and suicide verdicts had many similarities, differing only in some respects, of which logistic regression identified the most significant to be a suicide note, method used and age. Conclusions Open verdicts should be included in all suicide research after excluding cases in which suicide was unlikely Objective criteria are needed to facilitate comparison between different studies. Declaration of interest None.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Linsley KR, Schapira K, Kelly TP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Psychiatry

Year: 2001

Volume: 178

Issue: 5

Pages: 465-468

ISSN (print): 0007-1250

ISSN (electronic): 1472-1465

Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists


DOI: 10.1192/bjp.178.5.465


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