Title
Employment loss during economic crisis and suicidal thoughts in Belgium: a survey in general practice Employment loss during economic crisis and suicidal thoughts in Belgium: a survey in general practice
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Human medicine
Source (journal)
The British journal of general practice. - London
Volume/pages
63(2013) :615 , p. E691-E697
ISSN
0960-1643
ISI
000325531300005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Background The economic crisis of 2009 led to a wave of corporate reorganisations and bankruptcies, with many dismissals of employees. GPs were confronted with subsequent health consequences. Aim To assess the possible relationship between losing one's job and having suicidal thoughts. Design and setting A survey of patients aged 18-49 years recruited from GP practices in Belgium in Deurne (Flemish region) and La Louviere (Walloon region) from September to December 2010. Method Anonymous self-administered questionnaire. Results Of all eligible patients (n = 1818), 831 were offered the questionnaire and 377 completed it (45.4%). More than one in five had been confronted with employment loss in the past year (the responder or someone close losing their job). Almost one in ten had lost their job themselves in the past year. More than one in four had experienced suicidal thoughts and 11.7% had seriously considered ending their life in the past year. In the logistic regression analysis, the following characteristics showed a statistically significant relationship with having suicidal thoughts: being single (odds ratio [OR] = 4.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.7 to 13.8), not having satisfying social contacts (OR = 5.1, 95% CI = 1.6 to 16.2), having depressive complaints (OR = 18.4, 95% CI = 5.8 to 58.4), and having lost one's employment in the past year (OR = 8.8, 95% CI = 2.0 to 39.3). Conclusion This study points to a statistically significant relationship between losing one's employment in the past year and having suicidal thoughts. It emphasises the important role of the GP in the continuous and reinforced assessment of suicidal risk in times of recession.
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