Suicidal tendencies as correlates of disability measures
Abstract Disabilities and resultant handicaps may impair health-related quality of life to the degree that individuals feel that life is not worth living. Using archived 2009 Canadian Community Health Survey data, this study found that each of seven measures of disabilities (Health Utilities Index sub-scales of problems in (1) vision, (2) hearing, (3) speech, (4) mobility, (5) dexterity, (6) cognition, and (7) pain) had small but significant (p<0.001) positive correlations with each of seven measures of suicidality: (1) Health Utilities Index emotion problems, (2) diagnosed depression, (3) dissatisfaction with life in general, (4) feeling helpless dealing with problems in life, (5) feeling hopeless during the past month, (6) feeling worthless during the past month, and (7) suicidal thoughts ever in life). A second study examined the 724 individuals in the 2009 Canadian Community Health Survey data with Health Utilities Index scores less than 0.00, which Health Utilities Index protocol defines to be “worse than dead.” These individuals were described by demographic, disability, health, social, and suicidality measures, which showed the Health Utilities Index categorization of “worse than dead” to have doubtful validity. For example, mean measures of emotion problems and dissatisfaction with life were midrange; only half reported depression or suicidal thought; and only 18 percent chose the Health Utilities Index response that “life is not worth living.”
Accepted manuscript version. Published source at http://doi.org/10.1177/1359105315592048.