psychological autopsy


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A procedure for investigating a person's death by reconstructing what the person thought, felt, and did before death, based on information gathered from personal documents, police reports, medical and coroner's records, and face-to-face interviews with families, friends, and others who had contact with the person before the death

psychological autopsy

Psychiatry An autopsy that analyzes the cause(s) of death, examining the body and the circumstances–natural or unnatural that led to death; in the 'usual' death, a person suffers from a known set of morbid condition(s) and dies as a natural consequence of the terminal progression of those conditions; in 'unnatural' death–eg, homicide or suicide, determination of nosology is more difficult and requires analysis of circumstances preceding death; a PA focuses on the decedent's intentions relating to his own death, especially suicide

psychological autopsy

An attempt to determine what, if any, emotional or psychological factors caused or contributed to an individual's suicide.
See also: autopsy
References in periodicals archive ?
Marttunen (23) Psychological autopsy in the years 1987 and 1988.
As we have pointed out that psychological autopsy studies in the East have found mental disorder less often than the earlier studies in the West.
Psychological autopsy studies conducted in developed countries report that psychiatric disorders are present in about 90% of people who die by suicide and that these conditions contribute 47 to 74% of the population attributable risk of suicide.
2008, Suicide in the elderly : a psychological autopsy study in a North Italy area (1994-2004), American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 16, 727-35.
A case-control study using the psychological autopsy method.
Methods The sample consisted of 108 individuals who had committed suicide in Medellin; psychological autopsy was carried out and their characteristics were described.
He reviewed psychological autopsy data for 15,456 adults aged 25 years or older who died in 1986.
To characterize suicides and attempted suicides in China, analyses were conducted of 1) a psychological autopsy study comparing suicides with other injury deaths and 2) three studies of attempted suicides.
Further, the chapter gives a well-organized summary of the techniques used in performing the psychological autopsy and explains how the information gained can be correlated to autopsy findings to help render a pathologic diagnosis.
Adolescence and suicide: a review of psychological autopsy studies.
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