Researchers compare real-time suicide mortality surveillance systems

Posted 23rd November 2022 in Research news

Researchers from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom published a new study comparing international suicide death surveillance systems and recommended best practice.

The research paper, Real-Time Suicide Surveillance: Comparison of International Surveillance Systems and Recommended Best Practice, examined five major real-time suicide mortality surveillance systems to identify components of similarities and differences between the systems and their value.

The research paper emphasises the value of having real-time suicide data so that the data can be used to inform changes in prevention approaches and policy, better responding to the present landscape of suicide within a country.

Results of this study found many similarities between the surveillance systems, with researchers suggesting real-time suicide surveillance systems could be most effective when:

  1. Data is collected routinely from one source
  2. Data is routinely reviewed for sensitivity
  3. Machine learning systems are used to improve timeliness and accuracy of data to support reporting for specific populations and regional concerns.

Authors suggest that future research should examine how real-time suicide surveillance systems impact prevention practices, to help determine usefulness of these systems.

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