Understanding the suicidal trajectories in Luxembourg: implementation of a study using psychological autopsies


  • B. Bucki
  • J. D'Alimonte
  • L. Le Saint
  • P. Hédo
  • F. D'Onghia


In its National Plan for Suicide Prevention 2015-2019, Luxembourg foresees to implement a study aiming at understanding the trajectories leading to suicide - psychopathological history, health and healthcare trajectories, risk, protection and trigger factors… Psychological autopsy - retrospective reconstruction, by all possible means, of a person’s history - is appropriate for this objective. Our protocol combines qualitative and quantitative methods. ±6 months after each case of suicide occurring within a 12-month period (expected n≈80): - Two next-of-kin will be identified. For each separately, two semi-structured interviews will be conducted; - Self-administered questionnaires will be completed; - Medical or administrative records will be collected and analysed; - Profiles will be summarised in vignettes; - Vignettes will be analysed by an expert panel. This challenging project will bring a deep and exhaustive understanding of the suicide phenomenon in Luxembourg, and help determining the groups that are the most at risk. Thereby, further decisions and efforts will be based on evidences. The project is being developed with national partners – epidemiology and statistics service of the Ministry of Health, Prosecutors, national institutions of health, social security, and information technologies; and international experts. The methodology and authorisation requests to the National Ethics Committee and the National Commission for Data Protection shall be ready in summer 2017, and data collection will begin in January 2018. Suicide prevention is a public health priority and a major issue for health psychology. Adapted mental health promotion strategies at every identified stage of life will help decrease suicidal behaviours.





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