Liang Zhou, M.D., Ph.D., Xiangya Medical School
Standard Research Grant (2008): $74,700
Suicide Rates and Misclassification of Suicides in Hui, Tibetan and Han in Qinghai Province of China
Abstract: This research program will examine the differences in suicide rates and explore the level and sources of misclassification of suicides among Hui, Tibetan and Han ethnic groups. A suicide and unintentional death surveillance system will be established in six counties in Qinghai province of China which includes more than 200,000 people for each of the three ethnic groups. Investigators will use telephone screening interview to collect information of all deaths originally coded as unintentional, due to mental disorders, and undetermined, and then reclassify them as suicides or others. Detailed psychological autopsy study will be carried out in probable misclassified cases. The data analysis will make it possible to assess differences in rates between the three groups while adjusting for the potential confounding of socioeconomic status and geographic location. These data will help our understanding of suicide behaviors in unique religious contexts, thus, it will also help in the development of different suicide prevention strategies in different ethnic and religious communities.