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Risk Assessment of Repeated Suicide Attempts Among Youth in Saudi Arabia

Authors Ahmed AE, Alaqeel M, Alasmari NA, Jradi H, Al Otaibi H, A Abbas O, Alyabsi M, Almutairi AF, Al-Qunaibet A, Al-Jahdali H

Received 8 January 2020

Accepted for publication 10 April 2020

Published 18 September 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1633—1638


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto

Anwar E Ahmed,1 Mody Alaqeel,2 Naif A Alasmari,3 Hoda Jradi,2 Hazza Al Otaibi,2 Oraynab A Abbas,3 Mesnad Alyabsi,4 Adel F Almutairi,4 Ada Al-Qunaibet,5 Hamdan Al-Jahdali2

1Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine & Biostatistics, Bethesda, Maryland, USA; Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland, USA; 2King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 3Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 4King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 5Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Anwar E Ahmed
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
Tel +1 (301) 400-4356

Introduction: Although the incidence of suicide attempts continues to increase among youth in Saudi Arabia, no risk assessment tool has been established for suicide attempt repetition in the country’s youth population. The objective of the study was to develop risk assessment of suicide attempt repetition among youth in Saudi Arabia.
Methods: This is a retrospective study of youth (10– 24 years) with intentional suicide attempt(s) who presented to the emergency departments (ED) at King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital (KASCH) and King Abdulaziz Medical City-Riyadh (KAMC-R), Saudi Arabia between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2017. We excluded youth having unintentional suicide attempts. Data were retrieved for the 157 eligible as having attempted suicide.
Results: Forty-one of 157 (26.1%) had repeated suicide attempts (95% confidence limits: 19.433.7%). Four independent factors were identified that were associated with an increased risk of repeated suicide attempts: age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.147, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 11.015– 1.297, P=0.028), family problems (aOR = 4.218, 95% CI = 1.690– 10.528, P=0.002), psychiatric disorders (aOR = 3.497, 95% CI = 1.519– 8.051, P=0.003), and hospitalization (aOR = 5.143, 95% CI = 1.421– 18.610, P=0.013). This risk model showed adequate utility with an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC): 77.9%, 95% CI: 69.486.3% with optimism-corrected AUC = 71.8%. Youden index defined a probability of ≥ 0.38 to predict a high risk of repeated suicide attempts.
Conclusion: The risk of repeated suicide attempts among Saudi youth was high, compatible with what has been reported among youth in England and in France. Age, family problems, psychiatric disorders, and hospitalization are risk factors for repeated suicide attempts. A prevention program for suicide attempts in youth may take into account family problems, screening for psychiatric disorders, and suicidal behavior.

Keywords: repeated suicide attempts, psychiatric disorders, family problems, youth

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