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Firearm Use Up in Female Nurse Suicides in the U.S.

FRIDAY, Jan. 8, 2021 -- From 2014 to 2017, there was an increase in firearm use among female nurse suicides, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Nursing Forum.

Judy E. Davidson, R.N., from the University of California San Diego Health in La Jolla, and colleagues explored firearm deaths in nurse suicide in a mixed-method retrospective analysis of 739 nurse versus 94,838 non-nurse suicides from 2003 to 2017. Investigation narratives were analyzed using Latent Dirichlet Analysis and Latent Semantic Indexing topic modeling techniques.

The researchers found that between 2003 and 2013, compared with other women, female nurses used firearms in suicides significantly less often. Between 2014 and 2017, there was an increase in female nurse firearm use in suicides, with rates similar to those seen in non-nurse women. Preventable deaths, chronic pain, and job loss before suicide were identified as clinically relevant topics by topic modeling.

"Chronic pain, musculoskeletal injuries, job loss, investigation for substance use disorder, and diversion are important risk factors for nurse suicide by firearms," the authors write.

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Posted: January 2021

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