Document Type : Systematic review


1 Department of Psychiatry, Enam Medical College and Hospital

2 Department of Pharmacy, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Noakhali- 3814, Bangladesh

3 Faculty of Public Health, Thammasat University, Rangsit campus, Piyachart Building, Klongneung, Pathumthani, 12120, Thailand.

4 Department of Pharmacy, Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University, Tangail- 1902, Bangladesh.

5 Department of Media Studies and Journalism, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Background:  An adequate number of empirical studies is necessary to formulate a national suicide prevention programme.
Aims:  To assess the extent of empirical studies on suicide in a decade (2011-2020) in Bangladesh.
Materials and methods: A literature search was conducted to identify the articles available in PubMed, PubMed Central, Scopus, Google Scholar, and BanglaJOL using the search term “suicide in Bangladesh”, “self-harm in Bangladesh”, “poisoning in Bangladesh”, “suicidal behaviour in Bangladesh”. We included all the original articles in full-length format that were published in the English language, accessible in the full texts, published between 2011 and 2020, and assessing suicidal behaviour in Bangladesh. A total of 44 empirical studies were included in this review.
Results: Among the 44 studies, 6.8% were qualitative studies, 34.1% applied interview, 31.8% analysed the secondary data. All the studies followed a cross-sectional design, nine studies assessed youth suicidality, and only one study assessed the suicidality among the elderly. Studies of the earlier half of the decade explored epidemiological aspects, whereas studies in the last five years assessed the newer topics such as quality of media reporting, psychological autopsy study, perspectives after nonfatal attempt, sociological perspectives, ontological perspectives, masculinity, and suicide, and financial loss due to suicide. About 41% of the papers had a collaboration with the authors of other countries, and about 18.2% of the papers were externally funded either partially or fully.
Conclusion: Although newer studies are coming out, suicide is an under-studied public health problem as no nationwide, longitudinal and interventional study has been identified during a decade (2011-2020) in Bangladesh. The proper attention of all the stakeholders is warranted to improve the scenario.


Main Subjects

Acherjya G, Ali M, Alam A, Rahman M, Mowla S. The Scenario of Acute Poisoning in Jashore, Bangladesh. J. Toxicol. 2020;2020:2109673.
Akter H, Mali B, Arafat S. Demography, psychiatric morbidity and motives of self-harm: A pilot study in Bangladesh. EC Psychology and Psychiatry. 2018;7(12):1008-14.
Ali E, Maksud M, Zubyra S, Hossain MS, Debnath PR, Alam A, et al. Suicide by hanging: a study of 334 cases. Bangladesh Med. J. 2014;43(2):90-3.
Ara MJ, Uddin MF, Kabir MH. The causes of suicide and Impact of society in Bangladesh. Int. Res. J. Soc. Sci.. 2016;5(3):25-35.
Arafat SMY, Mohit M, Mullick MS, Kabir R, Khan MM. Risk factors for suicide in Bangladesh: case-control psychological autopsy study. BJPsych open. 2021;7(1):e18.
Arafat SMY, Mali B, Akter H. Characteristics, methods and precipitating events of suicidal behaviours in Bangladesh: A year-round content analysis of six national newspapers. Neurol Psychiatry Brain Res. 2020a;36:14-7.
Arafat SMY, Mali B, Akter H. Characteristics of suicidal attempts in Bangla online news portals. Neurol Psychiatry Brain Res. 2020b;36:83-5.
Arafat SMY, Khan MM, Niederkrotenthaler T, Ueda M, Armstrong G. Assessing the quality of media reporting of suicide deaths in Bangladesh against World Health Organization guidelines. Crisis. 2020c;41(1):47-53.
Arafat SMY. Formulation of national suicide prevention strategy of Bangladesh: the readiness assessment. J. Public Health (Oxf.). 2020.
Arafat SMY, Mali B, Akter H. Quality of online news reporting of suicidal behaviour in Bangladesh against World Health Organization guidelines. Asian J Psychiatr. 2019;40:126-9.
Arafat SMY. Current challenges of suicide and future directions of management in Bangladesh: a systematic review. Glob Psychiatry. 2019;2(1):9-20.
Arafat SMY, Mali B, Akter H. Demography and risk factors of suicidal behaviour in Bangladesh: A retrospective online news content analysis. Asian J Psychiatr. 2018;36:96-9.
Bala S, Hasan AT, Jewel ZA, Sarker P. Suicidal Ideation Percentage among University Students in Bangladesh. Int J Emerg Ment Health. 2020;22(3):50-4.
Begum A, Rahman AF, Rahman A, Soares J, Reza Khankeh H, Macassa G. Prevalence of suicide ideation among adolescents and young adults in rural Bangladesh. Int. J. Ment. Health. 2017a;46(3):177-87.
Begum A, Khan NT, Shafiuzzaman A, Shahid F, Anam AA, Ahmed KS, et al. Suicidal death due to hanging. Delta Med. Coll. J. 2017b;5(2):89-93.
Chen YY, Wu KC, Yousuf S, Yip PS. Suicide in Asia: opportunities and challenges. Epidemiol. Rev. 2012;34:129-44.
Choudhury MH, Rahman MM, Hossain MG, Tabassum N, Islam MR. Trends of suicidal death at a tertiary care hospital in Bangladesh. J. Shaheed Suhrawardy Med. Coll.. 2013a;5(1):28-30.
Chowdhury FR, Dewan G, Verma VR, Knipe DW, Isha IT, Faiz MA, et al. Bans of WHO class I pesticides in Bangladesh—suicide prevention without hampering agricultural output. Int. J. Epidemiol. 2018;47(1):175-84.
Chowdhury S, Rahman M, Islam M, Tabassum R, Kamal A, Al-Azad M, et al. Deliberate self-harm in substance use disorder patients-a study at tertiary level hospitals in Bangladesh. Armed Forces Med. Coll.. 2013b;9(1):63-74.
Chowdhury FR, Rahman A, Mohammed F, Chowdhury A, Ahasan H, Bakar M. Acute poisoning in southern part of Bangladesh The caseload is decreasing. Bangladesh Med. Res. Counc. Bull.. 2011;37(2):61-5.
Feroz A, Islam SN, Reza S, Rahman AM, Sen J, Mowla M, et al. A community survey on the prevalence of suicidal attempts and deaths in a selected rural area of Bangladesh. J. Med.. 2012;13(1):3-9.
Ghani MA, Chakrabarty S. Exploring Suicide Acts and Its Consequences: A Sociological Investigation in Sylhet Region. Bangladesh e-j. sociol. 2017;14(2):74-89.
Hasan MT, Hossain S, Gupta RD, Podder V, Mowri NA, Ghosh A, et al. Depression, sleeping pattern, and suicidal ideation among medical students in Bangladesh: a cross-sectional pilot study. J Public Health (Berl.). 2020.
Hossain M, Rahman Z, Akhter S. Suicidal death autopsy analysis at Dhaka Medical College. Bang Med J. 2011;40(1):18-21.
Howlader M, Hossain M, Morshed M, Begum H, Sardar M, Uddin M, et al. Changing trends of poisoning in Bangladesh. J. Dhaka Med. Col 2011;20(1):51-6.
Iqbal Y, Jahan R, Matin MR. Descriptive characteristics of callers to an emotional support and suicide prevention helpline in Bangladesh (first five years). Asian J Psychiatr. 2019;45:63-5.
Irish A, Murshid NS. Suicide ideation, plan, and attempt among youth in Bangladesh: Incidence and risk factors. Child. Youth Serv. Rev. 2020;116(105215).
Islam MJ, Broidy L, Mazerolle P, Baird K, Mazumder N, Zobair KM. Do maternal depression and self-esteem moderate and mediate the association between intimate partner violence after childbirth and postpartum suicidal ideation? Arch. Suicide Res. 2020;24(4):609-32.
Khan MMA, Rahman MM, Islam MR, Karim M, Hasan M, Jesmin SS. Suicidal behaviour among school-going adolescents in Bangladesh: findings of the global school-based student health survey. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2020a;55(11):1491-502.
Khan AR, Ratele K, Helman R, Dlamini S, Makama R. Masculinity and Suicide in Bangladesh. Omega (Westport). 2020 Oct 20:30222820966239. doi: 10.1177/0030222820966239.
Khan AR, Ratele K, Arendse N. Men’s reflections on postsuicide attempt episode in Bangladesh. Omega (Westport). 2020c;0030222820904878.
Khan AR, Ratele K, Arendse N, Islam M, Dery I. Suicide and attempted suicide in Jhenaidah District, Bangladesh, 2010–2018. Crisis. 2020d;41(4):304-12.
Kõlves K, De Leo D. Adolescent Suicide Rates Between 1990 and 2009: Analysis of Age Group 15-19 Years Worldwide. J. Adolesc. Health. 2016;58(1):69-77.
Mali B, Akter H, Arafat SMY. Demographical Factors of Suicidal Ideation: A Cross-Sectional Study in Bangladesh. Malaysian J Psychiatry. 2018;27(2):7-13.
Mamun MA, Rayhan I, Akter K, Griffiths MD. Prevalence and predisposing factors of suicidal ideation among the university students in Bangladesh: A single-site survey. Int J Ment Health Addict. 2020.
Mashreky SR, Rahman F, Rahman A. Suicide kills more than 10,000 people every year in Bangladesh. Arch. Suicide Res. 2013;17(4):387-96.
Niederkrotenthaler T, Braun M, Pirkis J, Till B, Stack S, Sinyor M. et al. Association between suicide reporting in the media and suicide: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2020;m575.
Pervin MM, Ferdowshi N. Suicidal ideation in relation to depression, loneliness and hopelessness among university students. Dhaka Univ. J. Biol. Sci. 2016;25(1):57-64.
Rahman ME, Saiful Islam M, Mamun MA, Moonajilin MS, Yi S. Prevalence and factors associated with suicidal ideation among university students in Bangladesh. Arch. Suicide Res. 2020:1-10.
Reza AS, Feroz A, Islam SN, Karim MN, Rabbani MG, Alam MS, et al. Risk factors of suicide and parasuicide in rural Bangladesh. Bangladesh j. med. 2013;24(1):14-9.
Roy J, Al Adiluzzaman MAF, Hasan MT, Roy DD, Qusar MS, Shah MMA, et al. Socio-demographic profile and psychiatric morbidities of suicide attempters: a cross-sectional observation in a tertiary care hospital of Bangladesh. Bang J Psychiatry. 2016;30(2):36-40.
Sakib N, Islam M, Al Habib MS, Bhuiyan AI, Alam MM, Tasneem N, et al. Depression and suicidality among Bangladeshi students: Subject selection reasons and learning environment as potential risk factors. Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2020.
Salam SS, Alonge O, Islam MI, Hoque DME, Wadhwaniya S, Ul Baset MK, et al. The burden of suicide in rural Bangladesh: magnitude and risk factors. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 2017;14(9):1032.
Sarkar D, Shaheduzzaman M, Hossain MI, Ahmed M, Mohammad N, Basher A. Spectrum of acute pharmaceutical and chemical poisoning in northern Bangladesh. Asia Pac J Med Toxicol. 2013;2(1):2-5.
Shah M, Ali M, Ahmed S, Arafat SMY. Demography and risk factors of suicide in Bangladesh: A six-month paper content analysis. Psychiatry J. 2017;2017:3047025.
Talukder N, Karim KA, Chowdhury T, Habib A, Chowdhury AM, Perveen K. Study of Autopsy Based Suicidal Hanging. Bangladesh j. physiol. pharmacol. 2014;30(2):14-7.
Uddin MG, Biswas RSR, Mamun SMH. Sociodemographic profile and intention of deliberate self-harm among patients admitted in a tertiary care hospital, Chittagong, Bangladesh. J Sci Soc. 2019;46(2):53-6.
Verma V, Paul S, Ghose A, Eddleston M, Konradsen F. Treatment of self‐poisoning at a tertiary‐level hospital in Bangladesh: cost to patients and government. Trop. Med. Int. Health. 2017;22(12):1551-60.
Wahlin Å, Palmer K, Sternäng O, Hamadani JD, Kabir ZN. Prevalence of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts among elderly persons in rural Bangladesh. Int. Psychogeriatr. 2015;27(12):1999-2008.
World Health Organization. Suicide in the world: Global Health Estimates. World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland. 2019. (accessed on December 10, 2020).