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Suicide as an indicator of quality of life: evidence from dialysis patients


  • JM Ford
  • DL Kaserman


Quality of life has been measured in many different ways for patients with chronic medical conditions. What is unique about the approach used here is that it uses suicide rates as a relatively objective measure of quality of life within the population of dialysis patients. Using a Heckman selection model, we estimate the relative suicide rates across patients undergoing both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Our empirical results show that patients on hemodialysis have relatively lower suicide rates after controlling for other factors. Specifically, our results indicate that 141 fewer suicides will occur for every 1,000 patients shifted from peritoneal to hemodialysis. Prior estimates of the higher costs of the latter modality yield an estimated expenditure of $42,043 per suicide avoided. Copyright 2000 Western Economic Association International.

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  • JM Ford & DL Kaserman, 2000. "Suicide as an indicator of quality of life: evidence from dialysis patients," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(4), pages 440-448, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:18:y:2000:i:4:p:440-448

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    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1994:84:10:1580-1585_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bush, Nigel E. & Haberman, Mel & Donaldson, Gary & Sullivan, Keith M., 1995. "Quality of life of 125 adults surviving 6-18 years after bone marrow transplantation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 479-490, February.
    3. Richard Rogers, 1992. "Living and dying in the U.S.A.: Sociodemographic determinants of death among blacks and whites," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 29(2), pages 287-303, May.
    4. A. H. Barnett, 1981. "Soliciting Accurate Evaluations of Public Goods," Public Finance Review, , vol. 9(2), pages 221-234, April.
    5. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Soss, Neal M, 1974. "An Economic Theory of Suicide," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 83-98, Jan.-Feb..
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    Cited by:

    1. Joe Chen & Yun Jeong Choi & Kohta Mori & Yasuyuki Sawada & Saki Sugano, 2012. "Socio‚ÄźEconomic Studies On Suicide: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 271-306, April.

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