Identifying suicidal behavior among adolescents using administrative claims data.

Callahan, S.T., Fuchs D.C., Shelton R.C., Balmer L.S., Dudley J.A., Gideon P.S., DeRanieri M.M., Stratton S.M, Williams C.L., Ray W.A., Cooper W.O. Identifying suicidal behavior among adolescents using administrative claims data. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 22:769-775, 2013.



This was an analysis of the Tennessee State Medicaid (TennCare) database of over 80,000 adolescents. A total of 1162 medical events were classed as suicide attempts using a classification algorithm, of which 1117 were identified as a suicide attempt or self-inflicted injury, or poisoning by drugs. These results indicate that an assessment algorithm can identify suicide attempts from database data.

This research shows how large-scale epidemiological studies are conducted, particularly using medical databases.

Unfortunately, suicide is one of the most common causes of death among adolescents. This research developed methods for more accurately assessing suicide attempts in large databases.