Clinical research
Factors associated with suicidal behaviour among depressed patients in Penang, Malaysia
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Submission date: 2010-10-05
Final revision date: 2011-02-22
Acceptance date: 2011-03-18
Online publication date: 2012-05-15
Publication date: 2012-08-31
Arch Med Sci 2012;8(4):697–703
Introduction: This study aims to highlight the factors associated with suicidal behavior among patients with depressive disorders.
Material and methods: A retrospective (Jan 2002 – Dec 2007) evaluation of medical records was done at the psychiatric clinic at the Penang (Malaysia) Public Hospital. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science SPSS version 13®. Chi-square (c2) test was used to assess the association among variables. Odds ratios were calculated. Multiple logistic regression was applied to identify the predictors for suicidal behavior.
Results: Of 298 patients, 99 patients reported having thoughts of suicide. Overall, female respondents, particularly Chinese, constituted the majority reporting suicidal thoughts (p = 0.01). Cigarette (p < 0.01) and alcohol use (p < 0.01) were found to be associated with suicidal ideation. Among patients with medical comorbidities, diabetics were at a high risk for suicidal thoughts (odds ratio – OR = 1.05, 95% confidence interval – CI 0.45-2.46). In terms of social problems, marital and relationship difficulties were the main risk factors (OR = 2.03, 95% CI: 1.16-3.58). The significant predictors for suicidal behavior were found to be smoking and alcohol use (adjusted R2 = 0.39, F change = 75.55, p < 0.01).
Conclusions: Chinese females were found at higher risk of suicidal ideation, as were smokers and alcohol users. The elderly aged 50 and over were also at
a higher risk, followed by adolescents and youths aged 15-24 years. Comorbid medical complications and social problems were other factors that may contribute to suicidal ideation among the patients with depressive disorders.