Domestic violence and suicide attempts among married women: A case-control study

J Clin Nurs. 2019 Sep;28(17-18):3252-3261. doi: 10.1111/jocn.14901. Epub 2019 May 26.


Aims and objectives: To investigate the impact of domestic violence-related factors on suicide attempt in married women.

Background: Suicide is a global public health concern that poses significant burden on individuals, families and communities. There is limited research on factors predicting suicide attempt in women.

Design: A retrospective case-control design was adopted.

Methods: Using a convenience sampling method, 610 participants, admitted to a teaching referral hospital in Northwest of Iran, were recruited to the study and assigned to case or control groups based on whether or not they had attempted suicide. The participants in two groups were matched in the terms of important demographic characteristics. Domestic violence-related factors were considered as independent variables and suicide attempt as dependent variable. Descriptive statistics, and simple and multivariate logistic regression analysis were used to analyse the data. Odds ratios (OR) of domestic violence-related factors were compared between the groups. We used STROBE checklist as an EQUATOR in this study.

Results: The mean age of participants in the case and control groups was 28.4 and 29.45 years, respectively. The infidelity was the strongest predictor of suicide attempt in women (OR 44.57, 95%CI 6.08-326. 63, p < 0.001), followed by being threatened to physical assault by husband (OR 37.01, 95%CI 11.54-118.67, p < 0.001), jealousy of husband (OR 23.46, 95%CI 11.63-47.30, p < 0.001), and previous attempts to divorce (OR 16.55, 95%CI 5.91-46.31, p < 0.001). Suicide attempt was significantly lower in women who reported a sense of peace in life or lived with their mother or father-in-law (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: To reduce the risk of suicide in women, violence against women should be condemned and appropriate prevention measures be taken by health professionals.

Relevance to clinical practice: Recognising risk, assessment and referral of victims of domestic violence should be an integral part of healthcare systems.

Keywords: domestic violence; family; suicide attempt; women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Domestic Violence / psychology*
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*