Publication Details

Dendup, T., Zhao, Y., Dorji, T. & Phuntsho, S. (2020). Risk factors associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in Bhutan: An analysis of the 2014 Bhutan STEPS Survey data. PloS one, 15 (1), e0225888-1-e0225888-13.


Suicide is a major public health problem globally. Data on the factors influencing suicidal behaviours that can inform prevention policies are limited in Bhutan. This study used the dataset of the nationally-representative Bhutan STEPS Survey conducted in 2014 that assessed the non-communicable disease risk factors. Using a backward elimination approach, multiple logistic regression analysis accounting for the complex survey design was performed to identify the factors associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in adults separately. The prevalence of suicidal ideation and suicide attempt was 3.1% and 0.7%, respectively. We found female gender, being unemployed, low and middle household income than high household income, and having a family history of suicide were associated with higher odds of having suicidal ideation. Younger age and alcohol consumption were associated with both suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. While those from the middle-income group compared to those in the high-income group had reduced odds of attempting suicide. The findings can help inform policy investments for suicide prevention. Prevention programs that target young people, females, and low socioeconomic groups, and aimed to reduce harmful alcohol use can help prevent suicidal behaviours.



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