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Psychiatric Disorders (Axis I and Axis II) and Self-Immolation: A Case–Control Study from Iran

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The objective of this study was to investigate preexisting psychiatric disorders in self-immolation patients. In a case–control study, 30 consecutive cases of deliberate self-inflicted burns, admitted to the regional burn center, were compared with 30 controls. Mental disorders were assessed via detailed clinical interview. Descriptive data revealed that 67% of self-immolation patients had adjustment disorder (all female), 10% drug and alcohol abuse/dependence (all male), 7% dysthymia, 3% major depression, 3% anorexia nervosa, 3% primary insomnia, 7% borderline personality disorder (50% male), 7% depressive personality disorder (100% female), and 3% antisocial personality disorder. In bivariate comparisons, adjustment disorders emerged as related to risk of self-immolation (odds ratio = 13.00). This study suggests that adjustment disorder is a risk factor for self-immolation. As a result, it has been suggested that increasing education about problem-solving approaches, and coping skills for females and at-risk groups are appropriate prevention programs and strategies in Iranian communities.
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Keywords: Iran; adjustment disorders; case–control; deliberate self-inflicted burns; forensic science; psychopathology; risk factors; self-immolation; suicide

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Social Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. 2: Department of Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL. 3: Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Management, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran. 4: Tehran Institute of Psychiatry and Mental Health Research Centre, Division of Community Psychiatry, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Iran. 5: Department of Psychology, College of Medicine at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, & David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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