Chances and limits of method restriction: a detailed analysis of suicide methods in Switzerland.
The objective of this study was to estimate the potential of method restriction as a public health strategy in suicide prevention. Data from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office and the Swiss Institutes of Forensic Medicine from 2004 were gathered and categorized into suicide submethods according to accessibility to restriction of means. Of suicides in Switzerland, 39.2% are accessible to method restriction. The highest proportions were found in private weapons (13.2%), army weapons (10.4%), and jumps from hot-spots (4.6%). The presented method permits the estimation of the suicide prevention potential of a country by method restriction and the comparison of restriction potentials between suicide methods. In Switzerland, reduction of firearm suicides has the highest potential to reduce the total number of suicides.