Estimating suicide rates in developing nations: A Low cost newspaper capture-recapture approach in Cambodia

Keith Harris, Joanne THANDRAYEN, Chien Samphoas, Pros Se, Boontriga Lewchalermwongse, Rattanakorn Ratanashevorn, Megan Perry, Choloe Britts

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    Abstract

    This study tested a low-cost method for estimating suicide rates in developing nations that lack adequate statistics. Data comprised reported suicides from Cambodia's 2 largest newspapers. Capture-recapture modeling estimated a suicide rate of 3.8/100 000 (95% CI = 2.5-6.7) for 2012. That compares to World Health Organization estimates of 1.3 to 9.4/100 000 and a Cambodian government estimate of 3.5/100 000. Suicide rates of males were twice that of females, and rates of those <40 years were twice that of those ≥40 years. Capture-recapture modeling with newspaper reports proved a reasonable method for estimating suicide rates for countries with inadequate official data. These methods are low-cost and can be applied to regions with at least 2 newspapers with overlapping reports. Means to further improve this approach are discussed. These methods are applicable to both recent and historical data, which can benefit epidemiological work, and may also be applicable to homicides and other statistics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)262-270
    Number of pages9
    JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
    Volume28
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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    Harris, K., THANDRAYEN, J., Samphoas, C., Se, P., Lewchalermwongse, B., Ratanashevorn, R., ... Britts, C. (2016). Estimating suicide rates in developing nations: A Low cost newspaper capture-recapture approach in Cambodia. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, 28(3), 262-270. https://doi.org/10.1177/1010539516634186