Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022) Undetermined intent, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 01 December 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). Undetermined intent. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/undetermined-intent
Undetermined intent. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 25 November 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/undetermined-intent
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Undetermined intent [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2022 [cited 2022 Dec. 1]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/undetermined-intent
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, Undetermined intent, viewed 1 December 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/undetermined-intent
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< causes of Injury
In cases where the cause of injury is known but it is not clear if the act was accidental or intentional, hospital and death records can be coded to identify that the intent was undetermined.
Injuries of undetermined intent resulted in about:
3,900 hospitalisations in 2020–21
15 per 100,000 population
260 deaths in 2019–20
1.0 per 100,000 population
This represents 0.7% of injury hospitalisations and 1.9% of injury deaths.
The most frequent causes of injury hospitalisations of undetermined intent in 2020–21 were various kinds of poisoning, and contact with blunt objects (Table 1).
Rate (per 100,000)
Poisoning by and exposure to antiepileptic, sedative-hypnotic, antiparkinsonism and psychotropic drugs, not elsewhere classified (Y11)
Poisoning by and exposure to narcotics and psychodysleptics, not elsewhere classified (Y12)
Other poisoning (Y10, Y13–Y19)
Total poisoning (Y10–Y19)
Contact with blunt objects (Y29)
Other (Y20–Y28, Y30–Y34)
Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.
For more detail, see Data tables B33–34.
The most frequent causes of injury death in this category in 2019–20 were various kinds of poisoning (Table 2).
Hanging, strangulation, suffocation, drowning and submersion (Y20-Y21)
Crashing of motor vehicle (Y32)
Other (Y22–Y31, Y33–34)
Source: AIHW National Mortality Database.
For more detail, see Data tables E45–47.
Hospitalisations due to injuries of undetermined intent do not show an obvious seasonal pattern.
Some categories of injury do show a seasonal pattern – see the interactive display.
The age-standardised rate of hospitalisation for injuries of undetermined intent in 2020–21 was 12% lower than the previous year.
Over the period from 2011–12 to 2016–17 there was an average annual decrease of 3.8% for the age-standardised rate of hospitalisations.
There is a break in the time series for hospitalisations between 2016–17 and 2017–18, due to a change in data collection methods (see the Technical notes for details).
For deaths from injuries of undetermined intent, the age-standardised rate for 2019–20 was 4.9% higher than a year earlier. There was an average annual decrease in rate between 2010–11 and 2019–20 of 2.3% (Figure 2).
2 matching line graphs on separate tabs, 1 tab for hospitalisations and 1 for deaths over 10 years. The 3 lines represent the trend for males, persons and females. The reader can choose to display rate per 100,000 population or number.
For more detail, see Data tables C1–3 and F1–4
Rates of hospitalisation for injuries of undetermined intent in 2020–21 were highest in the 15–24 age group, and higher for males. Rates of death in 2019–20 were highest in the 25–44 age group (Figure 3).
2 matching column graphs on separate tabs, 1 tab for hospitalisations and 1 for deaths. The columns represent sex within 6 life-stage age groups. For each age group, the reader can choose to display either rate per 100,000 population or number. The default displays males and females and the reader can also choose to display persons.
For more detail, see Data tables A1–3 and D1–3.
There are many ways that the severity, or seriousness, of an injury can be assessed. Some of the ways to measure the severity of hospitalised injuries are:
The average number of days in hospital for injuries in this category was below the average for all hospitalised injuries, but the percentage of hospitalisations that included time in an ICU or involved continuous ventilatory support were much higher than for all hospitalised injuries in 2020–21. Rates of in-hospital death were about average (Table 3).
Average number of days in hospital
% of cases with time in an ICU
% of cases involving continous ventilatory support
In-hospital deaths (per 1,000 cases)
Note: Average number of days in hospital (length of stay) includes admissions that are transfers from 1 hospital to another or transfers from 1 admitted care type to another within the same hospital, except where care involves rehabilitation procedures.
For more detail, see Data tables A13–15.
Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:
Note: Rates are crude per 100,000 population.
In 2020–21, Indigenous Australians were 3.5 times as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to be hospitalised with injuries of undetermined intent (Table 6).
The rate of injury hospitalisations of undetermined intent was highest among the 25–44 life-stage age group for Indigenous Australians and the 15–24 age group for non-Indigenous Australians (Figure 4).
Deaths data are not presented because of small numbers.
Column graph representing data for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by 6 life-stage age groups. The reader can choose to display rate per 100,000 population or number. By default, data for persons is displayed, the reader can also choose to display males or females.
For more detail, see Data tables A4–A6 and D4–D8.
In 2020–21, people living in Very remote areas, compared with people living in Major cities, were 1.8 times as likely to be hospitalised due to injuries of undetermined intent (Table 7).
Note: Rates are age-standardised per 100,000 population.
The highest rate of hospitalisations for injuries of undetermined intent was among the 15–24 age group living in Remote areas of Australia (Figure 5).
Deaths data are not presented here because of small numbers.
Column graph representing data for each of the 5 remoteness categories by 6 life-stage age groups. The reader can choose to display rate per 100,000 population or number. By default, the graph displays data for persons. The reader can also choose to display data for males or females.
For more detail, see Data tables A7–9 and D9–10.
For information on how the statistics were calculated by remoteness, see the technical notes.
Technical notes: how the data were calculated
Data tables: download the full tables
ACCD (Australian Consortium for Classification Development) 2019. The international statistical classification of diseases and related health problems, 10th revision, Australian modification (ICD-10-AM), 11th ed. Tabular list of diseases and alphabetic index of diseases. Adelaide: Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA), Lane Publishing.
The following are publications from recent years. Search Reports for older publications.
The first year of COVID-19 in Australia: direct and indirect health effects
Trends in hospitalised injury, Australia, 2007–08 to 2016–17
Trends in injury deaths, Australia, 1999–00 to 2016–17
Hospitalised injury and socioeconomic influence in Australia, 2015–16
Injury mortality and socioeconomic influence in Australia, 2015–16
Indigenous injury deaths, 2011–12 to 2015–16
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