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Suicidality in Bangladeshi Young Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Behavioral Factors, COVID-19 Risk and Fear, and Mental Health Problems

  • Mamun, Mohammed A1, 2
  • al Mamun, Firoj1, 2
  • Hosen, Ismail1, 2
  • Hasan, Mahmudul1, 3
  • Rahman, Abidur1, 3
  • Jubayar, Ahsanul Mahbub1, 3
  • Maliha, Zeba1, 4
  • Abdullah, Abu Hasnat1, 2
  • Sarker, Md Abedin1, 2
  • Kabir, Humayun1, 5
  • Jyoti, Avijit Sarker6
  • Kaggwa, Mark Mohan7, 8
  • Sikder, Md Tajuddin2
  • 1 CHINTA Research Bangladesh, Dhaka , (Bangladesh)
  • 2 Department of Public Health and Informatics, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka , (Bangladesh)
  • 3 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi , (Bangladesh)
  • 4 Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical College, Faridpur , (Bangladesh)
  • 5 Department of Public Health, North South University, Dhaka , (Bangladesh)
  • 6 Mugda Medical College, Dhaka , (Bangladesh)
  • 7 Department of Psychiatry, Mbarara University of Science & Technology, Mbarara , (Uganda)
  • 8 African Centre for Suicide Prevention and Research, Mbarara , (Uganda)
Published Article
Risk Management and Healthcare Policy
Publication Date
Sep 29, 2021
DOI: 10.2147/RMHP.S330282
PMID: 34616192
PMCID: PMC8488028
PubMed Central
  • Original Research


Background It is said that psychological stressors have risen during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may contribute to suicidality. A few studies were conducted investigating suicidality amid the first wave of the pandemic in Bangladesh, but none of these studies explored the predictive role of the suicidality-related factors (eg, behavior and health-related variables, COVID-19 risk, fear of COVID-19). Thus, this study aimed to investigate the prevalence of suicidality and the predictive models explaining suicidality variance among Bangladeshi young adults during the second wave of the pandemic. Methods An online-based cross-sectional survey was conducted during the second wave of the pandemic (between 1 and 13 April 2021; a year after the pandemic's inception in the country). The survey questionnaire collected information on socio-demographics, behavior and health-related variables, COVID-19 risk, fear of COVID-19, depression, anxiety, and suicidality. A total of 756 data were analyzed (male 59%; mean age 22.24 ±4.39 years), and hierarchical regression was performed considering suicidality as the dependent variable. A p -value <0.05 was set to be statistically significant with a 95% of confidence interval. Results About 8.2% reported having at least suicidal thoughts within the pandemic inception to survey time (one-year suicidal ideation). More specifically, 7.40% had only suicidal ideation, whereas 0.10% planned for suicide, 0.70% attempted suicide. None of the socio-demographic variables was significantly associated with suicidality. Taking drugs, performing less physical activity, poor self-reporting health condition, being comorbid, being at higher COVID-19 risk, having fear of COVID-19 infection, and suffering from depression and anxiety were significantly associated with a higher risk of suicidality. However, the final model including all of the studied variables explained a 17.1% (F=8.245, p <0.001) variance in terms of suicidality. Conclusion Although this study reported a lower severity of suicidality than prior Bangladeshi studies conducted during the first wave of the pandemic, a portion of people are still at risk of suicide and they should be given attention.

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