The British Journal of Psychiatry
Suicide past and present--the temporal constancy of under-reporting.
T Brugha, D Walsh

Abstract

It is known that official suicide statistics underestimate the incidence of suicide, but it is not clear whether the extent of under-reporting remains constant. An examination of coroners' records in Dublin from 1900 to 1904 and comparison with a similar series in 1964--68 suggests that the underestimation was of similar proportions in both series. It is suggested, therefore, that official suicide statistics are likely to reflect valid temporal changes in suicide and are therefore of value for the study of socio-economic influences on trends in suicide frequency.