Influence of psychotherapist density and antidepressant sales on suicide rates

N. D. Kapusta, T. Niederkrotenthaler, E. Etzersdorfer, M. Voracek, K. Dervic, E. Jandl-Jager, G. Sonneck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Antidepressant sales and suicide rates have been shown to be correlated in industrialized countries. The aim was to study the possible effects of psychotherapy utilization on suicide rates. Method: We assessed the impact of antidepressant sales and psychotherapist density on suicide rates between 1991 and 2005. To adjust for serial correlation in time series, three first-order autoregressive models adjusted for per capita alcohol consumption and unemployment rates were employed. Results: Antidepressant sales and the density of psychotherapists in the population were negatively associated with suicide rates. Conclusion: This study provides evidence that decreasing suicide rates were associated with both increasing antidepressant sales and an increasing density of psychotherapists. The decrease of suicide rates could reflect a general improvement in mental health care rather than being caused by antidepressant sales or psychotherapist density alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-242
Number of pages7
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Antidepressives
  • Psychotherapy
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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