Psychiatry Investig.  2019 Oct;16(10):777-788. 10.30773/pi.2019.07.14.

Design and Methods of the Korean National Investigations of 70,000 Suicide Victims Through Police Records (The KNIGHTS Study)

  • 1Korea Psychological Autopsy Center (KPAC), Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Depression Center, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
  • 4Department of Health Sciences & Technology, Department of Medical Device Management & Research, and Department of Clinical Research Design & Evaluation, Samsung Advanced Institute for Health Sciences & Technology (SAIHST), Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


The suicide rate in South Korea was the second highest among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries in 2017. The purpose of this study is to understand the characteristics of people who died by suicide in Korea from 2013-2017 and to better prevent suicide.
This study was performed by the Korea Psychological Autopsy Center (KPAC), an affiliate of the Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare. According to the Korea National Statistical Office, the number of suicide victims nationwide was estimated to reach about 70,000 from 2013 to 2017. Comprehensive suicide records from all 254 police stations in South Korea were evaluated by 32 investigators who completed a 14-day didactic training program. Then, we evaluated the characteristics of suicide victims in association with disease data from the National Health Insurance Database (NHID), which is anonymously linked to personal information of suicide victims.
Thirty-one of 254 police stations in the Seoul metropolitan area were analyzed by August 10, 2018. Findings showed that the characteristics of suicide victims differed according to the nature of the region.
Our results suggest that different strategies and methods are needed to prevent suicide by regional groups.


Suicide; Police investigation record; South Korea; Region
Full Text Links
  • PI
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2021 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: