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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Searching Online for Methods of Suicide

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Background: Information on methods of suicide is available online, and access to information on methods of suicide appears to contribute to a small but significant proportion of suicides. There is limited documentation of how methods of suicide are being profiled, as well as what content exists in other languages than English. Aim: We aimed to analyze and compare how methods of suicide are profiled on Danish and English-language websites. Method: We applied a categorization and content analysis of websites describing methods of suicide. Sites were retrieved by applying widely used Danish and English-language search terms. Results: A total of 136 English-language websites and 106 Danish-language websites were included for analysis. Websites were more often categorized as prevention or support sites, academic or policy sites, and against suicide sites than dedicated suicide sites (i.e., pro-suicide sites), or information sites. However, information on methods of suicide was available, and 20.1% and 8.9% of the English and Danish-language sites, respectively, suggested that a particular method of suicide was quick, easy, painless, or certain to result in death. Limitations: Only one author coded and analyzed all websites. A further operationalization of the content analysis checklist is warranted to increase reliability. Conclusion: The websites primarily had a prevention or anti-suicide focus, but information on methods of suicide was available, requiring an increased focus on how to diminish the negative effects of harmful online content.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCrisis
Volume42
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)136-143
ISSN0227-5910
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

    Research areas

  • content analysis, Internet and suicidal behavior, methods of suicide

ID: 61546649