Reviewing the revisions: what are the Australian Bureau of Statistics suicide figures really telling us?

Jerneja Sveticic, Samara McPhedran and Diego De Leo
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.10203
Published online: 20 May 2013

To the Editor: For several years, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has cautioned data users of likely underreporting of suicide statistics due to delays in coronial processes and (since 2006) exclusive reliance on the National Coronial Information System, which often contains incomplete information on cause of death.1 In 2009, the ABS introduced data revision processes that allowed additional information received to be added in two rounds of revisions at 12 and 24 months after the initial processing of coroner-certified deaths. This assisted coders in assigning more specific causes of death, thereby replacing the previous default “accident” category for ambiguous cases.

  • Jerneja Sveticic
  • Samara McPhedran
  • Diego De Leo

  • Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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