Patterns of suicide and self-harm in Pakistan: A retrospective descriptive study protocol

Nargis Asad, Shahina Pirani, Summaiya Tariq, Asra Qureshi, Mohammad Zaman, Mustafa Aslam, Farhat Mirza, Murad M. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction Suicide is a major global public health problem. Low-income and middle-income countries contribute 78% of all suicidal deaths. Pakistan, a South Asian country, lacks official statistics on suicides at national level. Statistics on suicide are neither collected nationally nor published in the annual national morbidity and mortality surveys. Medicolegal reports on suicides and self-harm are extremely rich and important source of information but greatly underused in Pakistan. We aim to examine the patterns of suicides and self-harm retrospectively in patients who were registered with medicolegal centres (MLCs) in Karachi, during the period January 2017 to December 2021. Methods and analysis Using retrospective descriptive design, the data will be collected from the medical records maintained at the main office of the Karachi police surgeon. Data from all nine MLCs of Karachi are collated and stored at the main office of Police surgeon. Information on suicide and self-harm cases will be extracted from records of all MLCs. The data will be collected using structured proforma and it will be analysed using descriptive and inferential analysis. Ethics and dissemination The study was approved for exemption from Aga Khan University, Ethical Review Committee. The findings of the study will be disseminated by conducting seminars for healthcare professionals and stakeholders including psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, medicolegal officers, police surgeons, mental health nurses, general and public health physicians and policy makers. Findings will be published in local and international peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere064535
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2022


  • Suicide & self-harm


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