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Basham C, Denneson LM, Millet L, Shen X, Duckart J, Dobscha SK. Characteristics and VA health care utilization of U.S. Veterans who completed suicide in Oregon between 2000 and 2005. Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior. 2011 Jun 1; 41(3):287-96.
Oregon Violent Death Reporting System data were linked with Veterans Affairs (VA) administrative data to identify and describe veterans who completed suicide in Oregon from 2000 to 2005 (n = 968), and to describe their VA health care utilization in the year prior to death. Twenty-two percent had received health care in the VA system. Of these, 57% did not have mental health diagnoses and 58% had not seen mental health professionals. A larger proportion of those who accessed care were VA-enrolled and received service-connected disability benefits. Fifty-five veterans were hospitalized during the year prior to death. Of these, 33% completed suicide within 30 days of a hospitalization. Further development of suicide prevention strategies for veterans in the community, including general medical treatment settings, is indicated.