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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1999 Winter;29(4):376-92.

Suicide ideation among recent immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union: an epidemiological survey of prevalence and risk factors.

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1
Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Unit, Talbieh Mental Health Center, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.

Abstract

This paper reports results of a national community survey of self-reported suicide ideation and attempts and their relation to psychological distress, depression, social support, and adjustment difficulties in a sample of recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU) to Israel. Using a door-to-door sampling procedure, a sample of 788 Russian-born Jewish immigrants, ages 18-74 years, was selected to match the age and sex structure of the total immigrant population. An indigenous sample of Jews in Russia (n = 411) was matched with the immigrants for comparison. Parameters of interest were measured with the Demographic Inventory, Talbieh Brief Distress Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. The 1-month prevalence rate of suicide ideation in the immigrant sample (15.1%) was found to be significantly higher than that in Russian controls (6.6%). A total of 5.5% of immigrants but only 0.5% of controls had made a suicide attempt at some time in their lives. Risk factors for suicide ideation included younger age, living without a spouse, low level of social support, being a physician or teacher, a history of immigration from the Baltic countries or Moscow, or duration of stay in Israel from 2 to 3 years. The strongest risk factors were higher level of psychological distress and symptoms such as depression, hostility, and paranoid ideation. These findings can be used as a point of departure for the development of community-based suicide prevention programs for recent immigrants.

PMID:
10636331
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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