Suicide attempts among Greenlandic forensic psychiatric patients–prevalence and determinants

Christian Jentz*, Parnuna Heilmann, Naaja Nathanielsen, Casey Upfold, Inaluk Kleist, Lisbeth Uhrskov Sørensen

*Corresponding author for this work

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This nationwide cross-sectional study of the lifetime prevalence and determinants of suicide attempts includes 90% of Greenlandic forensic psychiatric patients. Retrospective data were collected from electronic patient files, court documents, and forensic psychiatric assessments using a coding form from a similar study. We used unpaired t-tests and chi2 or Fisher’s exact test. The lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts was 36% (n = 32), and no difference in prevalence was found between male and female patients (p = 0.95). Patients having attempted suicide had a higher rate of physical abuse in childhood (p = 0.04), family history of substance misuse (p = 0.007), and criminal convictions among family members (p = 0.03) than patients who had never attempted suicide. Women primarily used self-poisoning in their latest suicide attempts (67%), whereas men more often used sharp objects or a firearm (42%). Over a third of Greenlandic forensic patients have attempted suicide at some point in their life, and patients with traumatic childhood experiences are at higher risk of suicidal behaviour. It is not possible to conclude whether the lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts among Greenlandic forensic patients is comparable to that of other high-risk groups in other Arctic regions due to methodological differences among the very few other comparable studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2037257
JournalInternational Journal of Circumpolar Health
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • arctic
  • Circumpolar
  • mental disorder
  • psychiatry
  • suicide attempt
  • Prevalence
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Male
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Suicide, Attempted
  • Female
  • Retrospective Studies


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