Episode 171 – Consultations patterns in general practice before suicide

In this episode, we talk to Dr Ed Tyrell, a GP and Clinical Assistant Professor within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham.  We’re talking about the paper that he, and first authors Danah Alothman, have published here in the BJGP.

Title of paper: Primary care consultation patterns before suicide: a nationally representative case–control study

Available at:

Although increased primary care utilisation in the preceding year has been linked with death by suicide, longer-term consulting patterns and primary care-recorded reasons for consulting have not been previously examined. This large, nationally representative sample from England showed rates of consulting among patients who died by suicide continuously rose in the 5 years before suicide, especially in the last 3 months. Suicide risk was significantly increased among those who consulted more than once every month in the final year, irrespective of any sociodemographic characteristics and irrespective of the presence (or absence) of known psychiatric comorbidities. Common reasons why patients who died by suicide consulted before their death included medication review, depression, and pain.

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