Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
CAVALCANTE, Fátima Gonçalves and MINAYO, Maria Cecília de Souza. Psychological and psychosocial autopsies of the elderly who committed suicide in Brazil. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.8, pp.1943-1954. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000800002.
The authors analyze 51 cases of suicide among the elderly from ten Brazilian municipalities. The objective is to understand the interaction of variables associated with suicide among the elderly. A bibliographic review gives theoretical support to this study. Based on psychological autopsy, the study begins with a semi-structured interview format, which was applied and analyzed by peer researchers, using the same procedure for gathering, organizing and analyzing the data. This material was reviewed using a psychosocial and qualitative meta-analysis approach based on family interview data, researchers' interpretations, socio-anthropological contextualization and relevance categories. Ways of committing suicide, reasons for suicide, associated factors, attributed motives and lethality were studied by sex, age and socioeconomic characteristics. The interaction of major precipitant factors was analyzed. The conclusions showed that there are convergences among epidemiological and qualitative studies. Severe illness, disabilities and mental disorders are the major causes, followed by depression and family and marital conflicts. Close attention to the quality of life of the elderly is recommended, especially of men who constitute the main suicide risk group.
Keywords : Suicide; The elderly; Psychological autopsy; Psychosocial autopsy.