Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown on Lethality of Suicide Cases

Author(s): Asma H. Almaghrebi*

Journal Name: Current Psychiatry Research and Reviews
Formerly Current Psychiatry Reviews

Volume 17 , Issue 1 , 2021

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Studies show that the COVID-19 pandemic has promoted distress and stress-related symptoms in the general population. It has also increased the suicide rate in vulnerable groups who cannot handle the social and psychological consequences of the pandemic and the measures in place to halt it.

Objective: In this study, we compared the lethality of suicide attempts and the methods chosen between the three months before the COVID-19 pandemic and three months during curfew and lockdown in Saudi Arabia.

Methods: This is a retrospective, causal-comparative study conducted at King Saud Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A total of 62 suicide attempt cases between January 2020 and June 2020 were included in this study. The scale for assessment of the lethality of suicide attempts (SALSA) was used for comparison, and cross-tabulation was used for the data of suicide methods.

Results: There was a significant difference (P = 0.003) in the total SALSA score before and during the COVID-19 lockdown. The scores of the lethality of suicide attempts were high during the lockdown. No significant difference was found in the suicide methods selected between the two time periods. However, the use of psychotropic medication overdose and self-immolation were prominent during the lockdown period.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic is likely associated with increased lethality of suicide attempts as well as an increased suicide rate. The development of appropriate mental health services is required.

Keywords: Suicide attempted, lethality, suicide methods, COVID-19 lockdown, psychiatric patients, psychotropic medication.

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Article Details

Year: 2021
Published on: 07 June, 2021
Page: [39 - 46]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/1573396317666210528123059
Price: $65

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