A Spatial Analytic Approach to Examining the Trends and Patterns of Substance Abuse Related Suicides in Metropolitan Atlanta Open Access

Williams, Toni G. (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/0z708w67s?locale=en
Published

Abstract

Background: Suicides are a major public health issue that has gained national attention for prevention measures. Prominent contributing factors of suicides include substances such as alcohol, illicit drugs and prescription medications. By utilizing advanced informatics systems and analysis, surveillance efforts can be improved for enhanced suicide prevention.

Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to examine the trends and patterns of substance abuse related suicides in metropolitan Atlanta. Geospatial analysis will visually enhance the data by providing maps that expose high-risk areas in metropolitan Atlanta. The results of this study will contribute to the body of knowledge of understanding substance abuse related suicides metropolitan Atlanta. The study will also evaluate the value of utilizing spatial analytics for advancing public health surveillance of suicides related to substance abuse.

Methods: Data were collected from the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), which is a state-based surveillance system that tracks violent deaths nationwide. The collected data provided statistics that reveal information pertaining to substance abuse related suicides in metropolitan Atlanta. A spatial analysis technique was used to evaluate the data. Based on the results, a GIS mapping technique was used to visually represent the prevalence of substance abuse suicides in metropolitan Atlanta.

Results: Metropolitan Atlanta had a total of four counties that met the criteria for this study: Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett. Total sample of substance abuse related suicides among the four counties from 2004 to 2011 was 211. Demographics with highest rates of prevalence included Females (sex - 57.8%), White/non-Hispanic (race/ethnicity - 78.7%) and 40 - 64 years of age (61.1%). Leading cause of substance abuse suicides was a combination of controlled substances and prescription drugs. Resulting chloropleth maps provide advanced visualization of statistical information.

Conclusions: The combination of multiple informatics systems can provide advanced surveillance for public health initiatives. Spatial analytics and mapping techniques serve as a powerful visualization tool for revealing trends and patterns of substance abuse related suicides.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS


CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION pg. 7
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND pg. 7
PROBLEM PURPOSE AND RESEARCH QUESTION pg. 8
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK pg. 11
SIGNIFICANCE pg. 12

CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF LITERATURE pg. 13
INTRODUCTION pg. 13
SUICIDE PREVENTION STRATEGIES AND INITIATIVES pg. 13
CURRENT SUICIDE RELATED SURVEILLANCE METHODS pg. 16
NVDRS CONTRIBUTION TO SUBSTANCE ABUSE RELATED SUICIDE SURVEILLANCE pg. 18
CONCLUSION pg. 20

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY pg. 21
INTRODUCTION pg. 21
POPULATION AND SAMPLE pg. 21
RESEARCH DESIGN AND PROCEDURES pg. 22
INTRUMENTS pg. 23
LIMITATIONS AND DELIMITATIONS pg. 24

CHAPTER 4: RESULTS pg. 25
INTRODUCTION pg. 25
FINDINGS pg. 25
SUMMARY pg. 40

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS pg. 41
INTRODUCTION pg. 41
SUMMARY OF STUDY pg. 41
CONCLUSION pg. 42
IMPLICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS pg. 43

APPENDIX A: CASE DEFINITIONS pg. 44

APPENDIX B: ICD-10 CODES pg. 54

REFERENCES pg. 58

About this Master's Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
School
Department
Degree
Submission
Language
  • English
Research field
Keyword
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Partnering Agencies
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files