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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences


 
 Table of Contents  
REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 199-203

Bibliometric analysis of media reporting of suicide: A worldview


1 Department of Psychiatry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Consultant Psychiatrist, Mind Wellness Clinic, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission11-Dec-2021
Date of Acceptance16-May-2022
Date of Web Publication17-Sep-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sujita Kumar Kar
Department of Psychiatry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_376_21

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  Abstract 


Suicide is a global mental health challenge and suicides frequently get a wide media coverage. The media reporting of suicide and subsequent suicides are closely associated. Studies reveal country wise variations in the quality of media reporting. We aimed to do a bibliometric analysis of the published research on media reporting of suicide. All the published articles available on the PubMed database from the time of inception till August 2021 were included in the study. All the PubMed IDs of the articles were entered in Harvard Catalyst, a free online software, for bibliometric analysis, and data were extracted and verified. A total of 158 published articles were identified. The average number of authors per article was 5.108 and the average number of times an article cited was 9.639 (excluding self-citation). The h-index of the published articles was 19. The Crisis journal published the maximum number of articles (n = 24). The highest number of average citations was for systematic reviews. Maximum articles were published in 2020 (n = 27). Suicide reporting in the media is an important subject of suicide research. However, original studies on this subject are few. Large-scale studies will contribute to the development of an evidence base for future recommendations and guidelines on this important subject.

Keywords: Bibliometric analysis, media reporting, mental health, suicide, world


How to cite this article:
Kar SK, Chawla K, Kumari B, Saroj A, Singh A, Gupta B, Tripathi A, Saxena S. Bibliometric analysis of media reporting of suicide: A worldview. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res 2022;15:199-203

How to cite this URL:
Kar SK, Chawla K, Kumari B, Saroj A, Singh A, Gupta B, Tripathi A, Saxena S. Bibliometric analysis of media reporting of suicide: A worldview. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 4];15:199-203. Available from: https://www.ijournalhs.org/text.asp?2022/15/3/199/356278




  Introduction Top


Suicide is a global mental health challenge. It is found to be the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults.[1] The majority of global suicide occurs in low- and middle-income countries; however, the rate of suicide is higher in high-income countries.[1] Various biological, psychological, as well as environmental and social factors attribute to suicidal behavior.[2] Suicide prevention strategies mostly focus on addressing the risk factors of suicide and minimizing them.

Media frequently covers suicide-related news. Evidence suggests that media reporting of suicide significantly influences the subsequent suicidal behavior among vulnerable population.[3],[4] Celebrity suicide gets extra attention by the media. When a celebrity suicide gets reported by media, it increases the risk of suicidal behavior among public.[3] It has also been noticed that people adopt the same method of suicide that was reported to be adopted by the celebrity in the media report.[3] Unregulated media reporting about suicide is seen to have a negative impact on society; hence, it is recommended to monitor the reporting of suicide with respect to the international guidelines designed by the experts and authorities.[5] The World Health Organization (WHO) had developed a guideline for the media professionals for the responsible reporting of suicide and this guideline directs the media professionals to focus more on helpful aspects and avoid the harmful aspects related to suicide in the reports.[6]

Evidence suggest that there is poor adherence to the guidelines developed by the WHO for reporting of suicidal behavior in the South-East Asian countries.[7] Studies conducted in India,[8],[9],[10],[11] Bhutan,[12] Sri Lanka,[13] Indonesia, Bangladesh,[14],[15] Malaysia,[16] Iraq,[17] Nigeria,[18] Ghana,[19] the United Kingdom,[20] the United States,[21] Australia,[22] and many other countries revealed variations in the quality of media reporting about suicide. It was found that violating the standard recommendations to report suicide was common in developing and developed countries, although, there is better adherence to the guidelines in the developed countries in comparison to the developing countries.

Considering the sensational and poor quality media reporting many innovative steps have been discussed. To sensitize the media personals, workshop interventions have been successfully tried.[23] Ransing et al. had suggested about the use of artificial intelligence to keep a check on the quality of media reporting through their model.[24] Similarly, Duncan and Luce discussed about responsible suicide reporting model to prevent the negative impact of media on suicidal behavior in the community.[25]

There are various types of research that discuss about the media reporting of suicide. Till now, there is no bibliometric analysis research on media reporting of suicide worldwide. Doing a bibliometric analysis will help the researchers to understand the pattern and extent of research and credibility of research on media reporting of suicide.


  Methods Top


This study aimed to do a bibliometric analysis of all published research on media reporting of suicide available on the PubMed database. All articles from the time of inception to date (August 22, 2021) were included in the study. The search terms used in the study were (suicide [tiab] AND media reporting [tiab]). All the PubMed IDs of the articles were entered into the free online software for bibliometric analysis (Harvard Catalyst).[26] As all the articles are available in the public domain and free to use software is used for analysis, no ethical permission is sought for the study. Three investigators did the data extraction through the PubMed database. Extracted data were verified by another investigator. Ethical approval was not required as data were available in the public domain.


  Results Top


A total of 158 published articles were identified in the PubMed database starting from as early as 1989 to the latest published article in 2021. The average number of authors per article came out to be 5.108. The average number of times an article was cited, including self-citations was 11.310 and the average number of times an article has been cited, not including self-citations was 9.639. The Hirsch index (using total citations and including self-citations) of the published articles was 19 and Hirsch index divided by the number of years since the first publication was 0.826.

The publications done by the top 10 journals range between 4 and 24. The most number of articles were published in Crisis journal (n = 24). The average number of citations per article was highest in Br J Psychiatry [Table 1].
Table 1: Top Journals with publications on media reporting of suicide published in PubMed

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The different types of publications on media reporting of suicide published in PubMed include journal article, research support, review, systematic review, comparative study, editorial, commentary, letter, and randomized controlled trials. Mostly, journal articles were published (n = 150) with the first publication in 1989 and latest publication being in 2021. The highest number of average citations were for Systematic Review (n = 107.167 and n = 87.997, respectively) with latest publication in 2016 [Table 2].
Table 2: Types of publications on media reporting of suicide published in PubMed

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The top grants given for publications were from the organizations Kaiser Foundation Research Institute and the University of Pennsylvania [Table 3].
Tables 3: Top grants for publications on media reporting of suicide published in PubMed

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The publications on media reporting of suicide published in PubMed were identified from 1989 to 2021. The range of publications was from 1 to 27. The highest number of articles were published in 2020 (n = 27). The most numbers of citations were received for the articles published in 2020 [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Annual number of articles published in PubMed on media reporting of suicide

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The citations of top publications on media reporting of suicide published in PubMed range between 40 and 604 [Table 4].
Table 4: Top publications on media reporting of suicide published in PubMed

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  Discussion Top


This bibliometric analysis study analyzed the global research publications on the media reporting of suicide. A total of 158 published articles were identified. Our findings revealed a progressive per year increase in the total number of articles published globally. However, the number of original studies on media reporting of suicide is relatively less. Besides, there is a dearth of funded research. There is a need for further research to build evidence on this issue.

The highest number of publications were in the journal “Crisis,” which focuses on suicidology and crisis intervention. This journal from the International Association for Suicide Prevention covers various suicide-related domains. The manner in which suicide is reported by media has implications over the frequency of manner of future suicides. Thus, this important area also got covered through related publications. Our findings suggest that other major psychiatry journals have also published articles related to this issue, giving it due importance.

The citations are a proxy indicator of the ongoing research in a certain field. A Hirsch index of 19 suggests that this area has also drawn the attention of the researchers and is continuing to be studied. The most cited publication was “Suicide prevention strategies: a systematic review” published in JAMA. The article was an impressive effort focused on examining the contemporary evidence for specific suicide-preventive interventions and made recommendations for suicide prevention measures. It also discussed the importance of responsible media reporting of suicide.[27] Another highly cited article was by Niederkrotenthaler et al., discussed the bearing media reports of suicide have on future suicides.[28] A recent highly cited article by Dsouza et al. addressed the issue of aggregated suicide incidence during the COVID-19 pandemic in India. It used media reports to identify the cases and study the causative factors for suicides.[29] During the COVID-19 pandemic, the global research covering its implications burgeoned. It resulted in such studies being frequently cited within a short span of time. Several other studies assessed and discussed the role and influence of media suicide reporting and provided guidelines for the responsible reporting.

An important limitation to the current research is that we had searched only the PubMed database for the current study. Thus, there is a possibility that we might have missed some of the studies on the current topic.


  Conclusions Top


The media reporting of suicide is an important area of suicide research. However, there is a relatively limited number of original research on this topic. Further, large-scale research from different geographies will help build evidence base for making future recommendations and guidelines on this crucial topic.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Arensman E, Scott V, De Leo D, Pirkis J. Suicide and suicide prevention from a global perspective. Crisis 2020;41:S3-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Turecki G, Brent DA, Gunnell D, O'Connor RC, Oquendo MA, Pirkis J, et al. Suicide and suicide risk. Nat Rev Dis Primers 2019;5:74.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Niederkrotenthaler T, Braun M, Pirkis J, Till B, Stack S, Sinyor M, et al. Association between suicide reporting in the media and suicide: Systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2020;368:m575.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Hawton K, Williams K. Influences of the media on suicide. BMJ 2002;325:1374-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Bohanna I, Wang X. Media guidelines for the responsible reporting of suicide: A review of effectiveness. Crisis 2012;33:190-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
WHO. Preventing suicide: A resource for media professionals-update 2017. WHO. Available from: http://www.who.int/mental_health/suicide-prevention/resource_booklet_2017/en/ [Last accessed on 2021 Oct 23].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Arafat SM, Kar SK, Marthoenis M, Cherian AV, Vimala L, Kabir R. Quality of media reporting of suicidal behaviors in South-East Asia. Neurol Psychiatry Brain Res 2020;37:21-6.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Menon V, Kar SK, Varadharajan N, Kaliamoorthy C, Pattnaik JI, Sharma G, et al. Quality of media reporting following a celebrity suicide in India. J Public Health (Oxf) 2022;44:e133-40.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Armstrong G, Vijayakumar L, Niederkrotenthaler T, Jayaseelan M, Kannan R, Pirkis J, et al. Assessing the quality of media reporting of suicide news in India against World Health Organization guidelines: A content analysis study of nine major newspapers in Tamil Nadu. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2018;52:856-63.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Kar SK, Shukla S, Rai S, Sharma N, Roy D, Menon V, et al. Assessing the quality of suicide reporting in online newspapers in Uttar Pradesh, India, according to World Health Organization guidelines. Crisis 2022;43:142-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Chandra PS, Doraiswamy P, Padmanabh A, Philip M. Do newspaper reports of suicides comply with standard suicide reporting guidelines? A study from Bangalore, India. Int J Soc Psychiatry 2014;60:687-94.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Zangmo T, Zangmo S. Media reporting of suicides in Bhutan: Analysis of adherence to WHO guidelines. J Bhutan Stud 2019;40:100-26.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Brandt Sørensen J, Pearson M, Andersen MW, Weerasinghe M, Rathnaweera M, Rathnapala DGC, et al. Self-Harm and Suicide Coverage in Sri Lankan Newspapers. Crisis 2019;40:54-61.8.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Arafat SM, Khan MM, Niederkrotenthaler T, Ueda M, Armstrong G. Assessing the quality of media reporting of suicide deaths in Bangladesh against World Health Organization guidelines. Crisis 2020;41:47-53.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Arafat SM, Mali B, Akter H. Quality of online news reporting of suicidal behavior in Bangladesh against World Health Organization guidelines. Asian J Psychiatr 2019;40:126-9.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Victor J, Heng JG, Govindaraju GM, Ling TP, Rajaratnam UD, Fong YL. Media reporting of suicide: A comparative framing analysis of Malaysian newspapers. SEARCH J Media Commun Res 2019;11:73-88.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.
Arafat SM, Ahmad AR, Saeed AK, Menon V, Shoib S, Kar SK. Quality of media reporting of suicide in Iraq. Int J Soc Psychiatry 2022;68:443-8.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.
Oyetunji TP, Arafat SY, Oluwaseyi FS, Oluwasanmi O, Afolami M, Ajayi FM. News reporting of suicidal behaviour in Nigeria: Adherence assessment to World Health Organization guidelines. Int J Soc Psychiatry 2021;67:448-52.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
19.
Quarshie EN, Andoh-Arthur J, Asante KO, Asare-Doku W. Online media reporting of suicidal behaviour in Ghana: Analysis of adherence to the WHO guidelines. Int J Soc Psychiatry 2021;67:251-9.  Back to cited text no. 19
    
20.
Utterson M, Daoud J, Dutta R. Online media reporting of suicides: Analysis of adherence to existing guidelines. BJPsych Bull 2017;41:83-6.  Back to cited text no. 20
    
21.
McTernan N, Spillane A, Cully G, Cusack E, O'Reilly T, Arensman E. Media reporting of suicide and adherence to media guidelines. Int J Soc Psychiatry 2018;64:536-44.4.  Back to cited text no. 21
    
22.
Pirkis J, Dare A, Blood RW, Rankin B, Williamson M, Burgess P, et al. Changes in media reporting of suicide in Australia between 2000/01 and 2006/07. Crisis 2009;30:25-33.  Back to cited text no. 22
    
23.
Scherr S, Markiewitz A, Arendt F. Effectiveness of a workshop intervention on responsible reporting on suicide among Swiss media professionals. Crisis 2019;40:446-50.  Back to cited text no. 23
    
24.
Ransing R, Menon V, Kar SK, Arafat SM. Artificial intelligence-based models for augmenting media reporting of suicide: Challenges and opportunities. Glob Psychiatry 2021;4:123-9.  Back to cited text no. 24
    
25.
Duncan S, Luce A. Using the Responsible Suicide Reporting Model to increase adherence to global media reporting guidelines. Journalism 2022;23:1132-48.  Back to cited text no. 25
    
26.
Harvard Catalyst. Profiles research networking software. 2020. http://profiles.catalyst.harvard.edu/?pg=bibliometrics&tool=bsr. [Last accessed on 2021 Nov 27].  Back to cited text no. 26
    
27.
Mann JJ, Apter A, Bertolote J, Beautrais A, Currier D, Haas A, et al. Suicide prevention strategies: A systematic review. JAMA 2005;294:2064-74.  Back to cited text no. 27
    
28.
Niederkrotenthaler T, Voracek M, Herberth A, Till B, Strauss M, Etzersdorfer E, et al. Role of media reports in completed and prevented suicide: Werther v. Papageno effects. Br J Psychiatry 2010;197:234-43.  Back to cited text no. 28
    
29.
Dsouza DD, Quadros S, Hyderabadwala ZJ, Mamun MA. Aggregated COVID-19 suicide incidences in India: Fear of COVID-19 infection is the prominent causative factor. Psychiatry Res 2020;290:113145.  Back to cited text no. 29
    


    Figures

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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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