Original Research

From ideation to attempt: A study of suicidality and its correlates amongst patients with schizophrenia in a resource-poor country

Oluseun P. Ogunnubi, Francis O. Aina, Cecilia O. Busari, Olamijulo Fatiregun, Babatunde Fadipe, Abosede A. Adegbohun, Osunwale D. Oni
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 28 | a1547 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v28i0.1547 | © 2022 Oluseun P. Ogunnubi, Francis O. Aina, Cecilia O. Busari, Olamijulo Fatiregun, Babatunde Fadipe, Abosede A. Adegbohun, Osunwale D. Oni | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 April 2020 | Published: 27 January 2022

About the author(s)

Oluseun P. Ogunnubi, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
Francis O. Aina, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
Cecilia O. Busari, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
Olamijulo Fatiregun, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Clinical Services, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
Babatunde Fadipe, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Clinical Services, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
Abosede A. Adegbohun, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Clinical Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
Osunwale D. Oni, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Clinical Services, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria


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Abstract

Background: There is increasing evidence that patients with schizophrenia have high tendency to commit suicide. However, such an act is usually preceded by suicidal behaviours (or suicidality) such as suicidal ideations, suicidal intent, suicidal plans and suicidal attempt. If any of this suicidal behaviour spectrum is missed, then suicide results. In spite of the relevance of such behaviours in the management and prognosis of schizophrenia, there is a paucity of research on the patterns and correlates of suicidal behaviours amongst this population group in sub-Saharan Africa.

Aim: This study assessed the prevalence and pattern of suicidality and its relationship with certain sociodemographic and clinical variables.

Setting: The study was conducted at the outpatient psychiatric clinic of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos State.

Methods: Suicidal behaviours were assessed amongst 160 randomly selected patients with schizophrenia over a six-month period. The prevalence, pattern and correlates of suicidal behaviour amongst them were also assessed. Data were collated and processed with the eighteenth version of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 18).

Results: About 43.1% of the participants exhibited suicidal behaviour. Of these, 5.8% exhibited suicidal plans whilst 75.4% attempted suicide. In terms of severity, one tenth (10%) of those who expressed suicidal behaviour exhibited severe suicidal tendencies. Participants who earned lesser income were more likely to exhibit suicidal behaviour. The same pattern was observed for medication adherence viz a viz suicidal behaviour.

Conclusions: The study brings to the fore the tendency of patients with schizophrenia to commit suicide, hence the need to screen for suicidal behaviour before suicide eventually occurs.


Keywords

schizophrenia; suicidal behaviours; suicidal ideation; suicidal plan; suicidal attempt

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