Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Is Suicide Predictable?

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Is Suicide Predictable?

Article excerpt


Background: The current study aimed to test the hypothesis: Is suicide predictable? And try to classify the predictive factors in multiple suicide attempts.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was administered to 223 multiple attempters, women who came to a medical poison centre after a suicide attempt. The participants were young, poor, and single. A Logistic Regression Analiysis was used to classify the predictive factors of suicide.

Results: Women who had multiple suicide attempts exhibited a significant tendency to attempt suicide again. They had a history for more than two years of multiple suicide attempts, from three to as many as 18 times, plus mental illnesses such as depression and substance abuse. They also had a positive history of mental illnesses.

Conclusion: Results indicate that contributing factors for another suicide attempt include previous suicide attempts, mental illness (depression), or a positive history of mental illnesses in the family affecting them at a young age, and substance abuse.

Keywords: Women, Prediction, Multiple suicide attempts, Iran, WSPFQ


Each year, one million people terminate their own lives worldwide (1). However, in spite of decades of clinical, scientific, and policy efforts aimed at improving methods of predicting and preventing suicide (2), the rates of suicidal thought and attempt have greatly increased in each country (3). This rate is considerable in the developing countries (4).

Suicide is a controllable death and a problem of public health worldwide (5). Approximately, half of the suicide's cases occurred in Asia and among rural communities (6). Meanwhile, the frequency of suicide in the Western countries has been generally lower than those in Asian countries (7). Additionally, suicide is considerable among women in the field of mental health (8). Several studies have shown that suicide is more prevalent among females (68.8%) than males (35.2%) (9). Databased research has disclosed that suicide events among women are linked with the individual characterizations in developing countries. As the research finding show, the suicide rate of younger age (20-29 years old) (7,10,11) married women is 57.2% (10), younger age women with past life history of suicide is 42.2% (12), and those with mental disorders is 63% (13,14). The methods of attempting suicide was with drug (65.4%) and the life quality of attempters were bad and very bad (15). There was little information (16) about causal factors of suicide among Iranian women (17,18). Attempted suicide is a multidimensional matter (7,19) that psycho-biosocial factors play important roles on it (12,20,21). The purpose of the study was to identify the predictive factors of suicide among Iranian women, and in order to determine the women who were at risk of attempting suicide.

Materials and Methods


This is a cross-sectional study. Some 250 women who had attempted suicide and referred to Loghman Hakim Hospital Poison Centre (LHHPC) from2006 -2008 in Tehran, Iran, were asked to participate. To qualify for participation, they had to meet the following inclusive criteria: 1) age from 15-60. 2) normal IQ and an education level of literacy 3) a history of attempted suicide at least two times (multiple suicides). Researchers made an initial selection according to the admission notes of nurses and doctors in Emergency Room (ER) in the LHHPC Ward, and also based on even numbers in the study sample. The participants who met the conditions of these prior criteria were selected. They took part in a short interview by researchers. They were asked to sign a statement that had been approved by the Ethical Committee of the Medical Faculty of Shahid Beheshti Medical University of Tehran, Iran. To further qualify they filled up an anonymous questionnaire (regarding ethical aspects) that took 30 to 45 minutes. Twenty-Seven of these 250 did not sign the ethical statement. …

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