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Influence of psychotherapist density and antidepressant sales on suicide rates

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Kapusta ND, Niederkrotenthaler T, Etzersdorfer E, Voracek M, Dervic K, Jandl-Jager E, Sonneck G. Influence of psychotherapist density and antidepressant sales on suicide rates. Objective: 

Antidepressant sales and suicide rates have been shown to be correlated in industrialized countries. The aim was to study the possible effects of psychotherapy utilization on suicide rates. Method: 

We assessed the impact of antidepressant sales and psychotherapist density on suicide rates between 1991 and 2005. To adjust for serial correlation in time series, three first-order autoregressive models adjusted for per capita alcohol consumption and unemployment rates were employed. Results: 

Antidepressant sales and the density of psychotherapists in the population were negatively associated with suicide rates. Conclusion: 

This study provides evidence that decreasing suicide rates were associated with both increasing antidepressant sales and an increasing density of psychotherapists. The decrease of suicide rates could reflect a general improvement in mental health care rather than being caused by antidepressant sales or psychotherapist density alone.
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Keywords: antidepressives; psychotherapy; suicide

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria 2: Center of Public Health, Institute for Medical Psychology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria 3: Furtbach Hospital for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Stuttgart, Germany 4: Department of Basic Psychological Research, School of Psychology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria 5: Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/University Hospital, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Publication date: 01 March 2009

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