Self-immolation in Iran: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Mohammad Saadati, Saber Azami-aghdash, Mahdiyeh Heydari, Naser Derakhshani, Ramin Rezapour


Objective: To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of self-immolation epidemiology and characteristics in Iran.

Methods: This was a systematic review and meta-analysis study. PubMed, Scopus, Web of science and Science Direct were searched for English literature and SID and Magiran for Persian in the time period of 2000 to 2016. The retrieved studies were screened and reviewed then quality assessed. Random Effect model was applied for meta-analysis. The qualitative data were analyzed by content analysis method.

Results: After literature screening, 39 studies included in the analysis. Women were subject to self-immolation more than men. The rate of self-immolation estimated to be 4.5 cases in every 100,000 populations and it was the reason of 16% of hospitalized burns. The average length of hospital stay calculated to be 12.24 (95% CI: 8.85-15.59) days. The total burnt surface area was 65.3% (95% CI: 56.71-73.89). Death due to self-immolation was 62.1%. The major risk factors of self-immolation were having mental health issues, family problems and characteristics and problems in relation/communication with spouses.

Conclusion: Despite the low rate of self-immolation in Iran, it comprises one sixth of the hospitalized burns. The mortality rate of self-immolation also is high and this highlights the importance of providing special care. Psychological consultations and mental health screening in the primary health care would help to prevent the self-immolation.


Self-immolation; Iran; Risk factor; Systematic review

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