Risk of suicide and related adverse outcomes after exposure to a suicide prevention programme in the US Air Force

Cohort study

Kerry L. Knox, David A. Litts, G. Wayne Talcott, Jill Catalano Feig, Eric D. Caine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

264 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the impact of the US Air Force suicide prevention programme on risk of suicide and other outcomes that share underlying risk factors. Design: Cohort study with quasi-experimental design and analysis of cohorts before (1990-6) and after (1997-2002) the intervention. Participants: 5 260 292 US Air Force personnel (around 84% were men). Intervention: A multilayered intervention targeted at reducing risk factors and enhancing factors considered protective. The intervention consisted of removing the stigma of seeking help for a mental health or psychosocial problem, enhancing understanding of mental health, and changing policies and social norms. Main outcome measures: Relative risk reductions (the prevented fraction) for suicide and other outcomes hypothesised to be sensitive to broadly based community prevention efforts, (family violence, accidental death, homicide). Additional outcomes not exclusively associated with suicide were included because of the comprehensiveness of the programme. Results: Implementation of the programme was associated with a sustained decline in the rate of suicide and other adverse outcomes. A 33% relative risk reduction was observed for suicide after the intervention; reductions for other outcomes ranged from 18-54%. Conclusion: A systemic intervention aimed at changing social norms about seeking help and incorporating training in suicide prevention has a considerable impact on promotion of mental health. The impact on adverse outcomes in addition to suicide strengthens the conclusion that the programme was responsible for these reductions in risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1376-1378
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Volume327
Issue number7428
StatePublished - Dec 13 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Suicide
Cohort Studies
Air
Risk Reduction Behavior
Mental Health
Domestic Violence
Homicide
Military Personnel
Health Policy
Health Promotion
Research Design
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Knox, K. L., Litts, D. A., Talcott, G. W., Feig, J. C., & Caine, E. D. (2003). Risk of suicide and related adverse outcomes after exposure to a suicide prevention programme in the US Air Force: Cohort study. British Medical Journal, 327(7428), 1376-1378.

Risk of suicide and related adverse outcomes after exposure to a suicide prevention programme in the US Air Force : Cohort study. / Knox, Kerry L.; Litts, David A.; Talcott, G. Wayne; Feig, Jill Catalano; Caine, Eric D.

In: British Medical Journal, Vol. 327, No. 7428, 13.12.2003, p. 1376-1378.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Knox, KL, Litts, DA, Talcott, GW, Feig, JC & Caine, ED 2003, 'Risk of suicide and related adverse outcomes after exposure to a suicide prevention programme in the US Air Force: Cohort study', British Medical Journal, vol. 327, no. 7428, pp. 1376-1378.
Knox, Kerry L. ; Litts, David A. ; Talcott, G. Wayne ; Feig, Jill Catalano ; Caine, Eric D. / Risk of suicide and related adverse outcomes after exposure to a suicide prevention programme in the US Air Force : Cohort study. In: British Medical Journal. 2003 ; Vol. 327, No. 7428. pp. 1376-1378.
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