Original Research

Trends and patterns of suicidal behaviour in Nigeria: Mixed-methods analysis of media reports from 2016 to 2019

Olushola Olibamoyo, Bolanle Ola, Olurotimi Coker, Abiodun Adewuya, Akintayo Onabola
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 27 | a1572 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v27i0.1572 | © 2021 Olushola Olibamoyo, Bolanle Ola, Olurotimi Coker, Abiodun Adewuya, Akintayo Onabola | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 June 2020 | Published: 08 March 2021

About the author(s)

Olushola Olibamoyo, Department of Behavioural Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos, Nigeria
Bolanle Ola, Department of Behavioural Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos, Nigeria
Olurotimi Coker, Department of Behavioural Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos, Nigeria
Abiodun Adewuya, Department of Behavioural Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos, Nigeria
Akintayo Onabola, Department of Medicine, Oaks Hospitals, Lagos, Nigeria


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Abstract

Background: Media coverage of suicides in Nigeria appears to be explicitly descriptive and deviates from the recommended best practice. Despite these shortcomings, verifiable information provided by these media outlets could arguably, at the minimum, mirror the reality of the trends and patterns of suicidal behaviour in Nigeria.

Aim: This study aimed to analyse the trends and patterns of suicidal behaviour in Nigeria using media reports from 2016 to 2019. We examined the effect of gender and age groups on these trends and patterns of suicidal behaviour.

Setting: The study was carried out in Nigeria.

Methods: Qualitative content analysis was used to assess the content of each verifiable suicide event. In total, 336 verified suicide-related events were selected from 4365 media reports. Quantitative data were collected on age, gender, type of suicidal behaviour, method, place and motivation for suicidal behaviour. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software. Fisher’s exact test was used to examine the association between gender, age groups and other variables. p-value was set at ≤ 0.05.

Results: Completed suicide was the most common reported suicidal behaviour. Hanging was the dominant reported method, followed by poisoning. Significant gender differences were observed between age groups (p < 0.001) and methods of suicidal behaviour (p < 0.001). Also, significant age differences were observed between the methods of suicidal behaviour (p < 0.001), places (p < 0.001) and motivations for suicidal behaviour (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: The study confirms that there are gender and age differences in the trends and patterns of suicidal behaviour in Nigeria.


Keywords

content analysis; media; trend; patterns; suicidal behaviours; Nigeria

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