Suicide Risk in Military Personnel during the COVID-19 Health Emergency in a Peruvian Region: A Cross-Sectional Study

Mario J. Valladares-Garrido, Cinthia Karina Picón-Reátegui, J. Pierre Zila-Velasque, Pamela Grados-Espinoza, Cristian M. Hinostroza-Zarate, Virgilio E. Failoc-Rojas, César Johan Pereira-Victorio

Research output: Contribution to journalOriginal Articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Military personnel represent a frontline group exposed to multiple stressors. These factors have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, predisposing to the development of suicidal risk (SR). Given the few studies conducted in this population, we evaluated the prevalence of SR and its associated factors during the health emergency. A cross-sectional survey study was conducted in person among 514 participants in Lambayeque, Peru in 2021. The outcome was SR, and the exposures were depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), PTSD (PCL-C), and other sociodemographic variables. The prevalence of SR was 14.0% (95% CI: 11.12–17.31%) and was significantly higher in people with a family history of mental health (PR: 2.16; 95% CI: 1.13–4.15) and in those with moderate clinical insomnia (PR: 2.21; 95% CI: 1.19–4.12). Military personnel with high resilience had a lower prevalence of SR (PR: 0.54, CI: 0.31–0.95). Anxiety was associated with a higher prevalence of SR (PR: 3.27; 95% CI: 1.76–6.10). Our findings show that at least 1 out of 10 military personnel are at risk of suicide. Special attention should be paid to the associated factors to develop interventions and reverse their consequences. These results may be useful in policy implementation and general statistics of SR in the local and regional context.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number13502
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number20
DOIs
StateIndexed - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • mental health
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • public health
  • sleep quality
  • suicide risk

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