Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 317–320 | Cite as

Case–Control Study of the Relationship of Functioning to Suicide in a Community-Based Sample of Individuals with Schizophrenia in China

Brief Report


Suicide is a leading cause of premature death among people with schizophrenia. Some studies indicate that increased difficulties in functioning are associated with suicidality in persons with schizophrenia. We conducted a secondary analysis of 74 suicides (cases) and 24 accidental deaths (controls) among persons with schizophrenia identified in a national psychological autopsy study in China. Between cases and controls, we compared the effect of schizophrenia on work, daily activities, emotions, social relationships and self-care at the time the illness was most severe. There was no difference in the overall maximum dysfunction associated with the illness between groups. None of the 5 measures (work, activities, emotions, relationships, self-care) were different between the two groups. This study of individuals with DSM-IV schizophrenia who died by suicide in a non-western culture only partially supports findings from clinical studies in western cultures.


Functioning Suicide Schizophrenia China Psychological autopsy 



This study is part of the ‘Causes and Prevention of Accidental Deaths in China’ project, which was supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, the Save the Children Fund, and Befrienders International. In addition, Dr. Liu was supported by NIH R24-TW-007-988. Participating institutions include 23 Disease Surveillance Points and four psychiatric centres (Department of Neuropsychiatry, Xijing Hospital, Xian, Shaanxi Province; Jingzhou City Psychiatric Hospital, Hubei Province; Shenyang Mental Health Centre, Liaoning Province; and Suzhou Guangji Hospital, Jiangsu Province). The authors thank all the institutions, investigators and respondents for their contribution to the research. Dr. Phillips is considered also a primary author as well as a primary corresponding author. The contents of this report do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs of the US government. Dr. Kasckow received grant support from Astra Zeneca for a study not related to this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (Outside the USA) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Kasckow
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nancy Liu
    • 4
  • Michael R. Phillips
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.VA Pittsburgh Health Care System MIRECCBehavioral Health ServicePittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Center for Health Equity Research and PromotionPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicsUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  5. 5.WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention, BeijingHuilongguan HospitalBeijingChina
  6. 6.Shanghai Research and Prevention Center, Shanghai Mental Health CenterShanghai Jiaotong UniversityShanghaiChina
  7. 7.Departments of Psychiatry and Global HealthEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

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