|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 199-203
Bibliometric analysis of media reporting of suicide: A worldview
Sujita Kumar Kar1, Kritika Chawla1, Babli Kumari1, Ankita Saroj1, Amit Singh1, Bandna Gupta1, Adarsh Tripathi1, Shashwat Saxena2
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 Submission||11-Dec-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||16-May-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||17-Sep-2022|
Dr. Sujita Kumar Kar
Department of Psychiatry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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 2023 Mar 27];15:199-203. Available from: https://www.ijournalhs.org/text.asp?2022/15/3/199/356278
| Introduction|| |
Suicide is a global mental health challenge. It is found to be the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults. The majority of global suicide occurs in low- and middle-income countries; however, the rate of suicide is higher in high-income countries. Various biological, psychological, as well as environmental and social factors attribute to suicidal behavior. 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., 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. Studies conducted in India,,,, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Bangladesh,, Malaysia, Iraq, Nigeria, Ghana, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, 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. Ransing et al. had suggested about the use of artificial intelligence to keep a check on the quality of media reporting through their model. Similarly, Duncan and Luce discussed about responsible suicide reporting model to prevent the negative impact of media on suicidal behavior in the community.
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|| |
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). 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|| |
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|| |
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. Another highly cited article was by Niederkrotenthaler et al., discussed the bearing media reports of suicide have on future suicides. 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. 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|| |
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
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]