Journal Article Annotations
2022, 3rd Quarter
Annotations by Liliya Gershengoren
This survey of over 2600 gunowners identified three groups of firearm owners who demonstrated elevated risk of suicide. One group is comprised of women and persons with a non-heterosexual orientation who report long histories of adverse experiences and suffer from challenging mental health disorders, lower income and educational attainment, and disabilities that prevent them from working. A second group is characterized by a relatively high proportion of conflict zone veterans with high levels of alcohol use. A third group consists of mostly younger, higher income, and educated persons who identify as non-Hispanic white and have a history of adverse experiences and mental health challenges.
Strength and weaknesses: This study is the first nationally representative study of firearm owners to characterize subgroups with regard to suicide risk factors. One possible limitation might be the reported response rate of 66%. Self-report information from survey responses may be misclassified and is subject to multiple sources of bias including related to the social desirability of responses.
Relevance: C-L psychiatrists should inquire about firearm possession during clinical evaluations and can utilize the three unique groups of individuals identified in this study to identify patients at particularly elevated risk.