Suicide and self-harm by burns in Pakistan: a scoping review protocol

Aisha Noorullah, Shahina Pirani, Emily Bebbington, Murad Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Suicide is a global public health problem. Self-inflicted burns are one of the most severe methods of suicide, with high morbidity and mortality. Low-income and middle-income countries contribute 40% of all suicidal burns. Pakistan lacks comprehensive burns surveillance data, which prevents an understanding of the magnitude of the problem. This scoping review aims to understand the scope of the problem of suicide and self-harm burns in Pakistan and to identify knowledge gaps within the existing literature related to this specific phenomenon. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This scoping review will follow the methodological framework proposed by Arksey and O'Malley. We will search electronic databases (PubMed, Cochrane, Google Scholar and Pakmedinet), grey literature and a reference list of relevant articles to identify studies for inclusion. We will look for studies on self-inflicted burns as a method of suicide and self-harm in Pakistan, published from the beginning until December 2023, in the English language. Two independent reviewers will screen all abstracts and full-text studies for inclusion. The data will be collected on a data extraction form developed through an iterative process by the research team and it will be analysed using descriptive statistics. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical exemption for this study has been obtained from the Institutional Review Board Committee of Aga Khan University Karachi, Pakistan. The findings of the study will be disseminated by conducting workshops for stakeholders, including psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, general and public health physicians and policymakers. The findings will be published in national and international peer-reviewed journals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e080815
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2024


  • Suicide & self-harm


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