Psychological autopsy study and risk factors for suicide in Muslim countries

S. M.Yasir Arafat, Murad M. Khan, Vikas Menon, Syeda Ayat e.Zainab Ali, Mohsen Rezaeian, Sheikh Shoib

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Suicide and risk factors have been poorly studied in the Muslim-majority countries that hinder the formulation of prevention strategies and affect suicide prevention eventually. Objectives: We aimed at identifying and analyzing the psychological autopsy studies assessing the risk factors for suicide conducted in Muslim-majority countries. Methods: We did a search to trace all the available psychological autopsy studies in the Muslim countries with the search term “psychological autopsy study in Muslim countries.” We also checked the available bibliographies to identify the psychological autopsy studies in the Muslim countries so that all the possible studies could be included. Results: Out of the Muslim countries, only eight psychological autopsy studies were identified in five countries (Bangladesh [1], Indonesia [1], Iran [1], Pakistan [2], and Turkey [3]). Six studies adopted a case-control study design, and all were carried out in urban settings. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders among case-control studies varied from 52.8% in Turkey to 96% in Pakistan. Psychiatric illness, self-harm, and stressful life events were the commonly replicated risk factors for suicide across studies. Conclusions: Psychological autopsy studies have been conducted only in five Muslim countries revealing that the risk factor for suicide is certainly under-researched in the incumbent countries. This review identified a similar list of risk factors for suicide, namely, psychiatric disorder, past non-fatal attempts, and adverse life events compared to the Western countries even though the rate varies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere414
JournalHealth Science Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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