Self-immolation in Iran, risk factors and prevention strategies


avatar Zahra Heidari Zadi 1 , avatar Shahram Mami 1 , avatar Habibolah Khazaie 2 , avatar Homayoun Sadeghi-Bazargani 3 , avatar Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi 4 , avatar Reza Mohammadi 5 , avatar Alireza Ahmadi 6 , *

Dept. of Clinical Psychology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University of Ilam, Ilam, Iran
Dept. of Psychiatry, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
Road Traffic Injury Research Centre, Department of Statistics & Epidemiology, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
Dept. of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, United States
WHO Collaborating Centre on Community Safety Promotion, Stockholm, Sweden
Suicide Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

how to cite: Heidari Zadi Z, Mami S, Khazaie H, Sadeghi-Bazargani H, Bazargan-Hejazi S, et al. Self-immolation in Iran, risk factors and prevention strategies. J Kermanshah Univ Med Sci. 2015;19(1):e70721. doi: 10.22110/jkums.v19i1.2146.


Background: approximately 1,500 to 2,000 people die due to self-immolation every year in Iran. This phenomenon is more pronounced in young women who comprise an active and reproductive segment of the population which can lead to numerous negative consequences in the individual, family, and community. However, since self-immolation is a preventable public health issue, the healthcare system is required to take seriously into account.
Methods: In this narrative review, several online databases, including PubMed, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, ISI, Scopus as well as offline resources, including textbooks and theses were searched for the published information about the risk and protective factors of self-immolation. An attempt was made to analyze and identify the epidemiologic patterns and prevention strategies of this phenomenon briefly.
Results: Our review revealed that the phenomenon of self-immolation is particularly frequent among young women in Iran and adjustment disorder is the most common risk factor for self-immolation.
Conclusion: This study shows that self-immolation is a significant health problem in some parts of Iran, suggesting that the health care system and authorities should be more attentive to this public health challenge. Furthermore, low-cost precautionary and preventive measures including counseling services can manage this phenomenon and should be of high priority for health officials.



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