Author(s): Benute GR, Nomura RM, Jorge VM, Nonnenmacher D, Frguas Junior R,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To identify the risk of suicidal behavior in high-risk pregnant women at a public hospital in São Paulo. METHODS: We conducted a semi-structured interview with each of the participants (n = 268) through a previously prepared questionnaire. Risk of suicidal behavior was assessed by the Portuguese version of PRIME-MD. RESULTS: The mean age of patients was 29 years (SD = 0.507) and gestation period was 30 weeks (SD = 0.556). Of the total sample, specific risk of suicide was found in 5\% (n = 14). Of these, 85\% have a stable relationship (married or cohabitating), the pregnancy was planned in 50\% of cases, and 71\% have no religion or professional activities. The correlation of risk of suicide with data from marital status, planned birth, age, education, professional practice, risk of prematurity, and religion showed that having a religion is statistically significant (p = 0.012). There were no positive associations for any of the other selected variables when compared with the risk of suicide. By correlating the risk of suicide with other characteristic symptoms of major depression, there was statistical significance in the sample with regard to insomnia or hypersomnia (p = 0.003), fatigue or loss of energy (p = 0.001), decreased or increased appetite (p = 0.005), less interest in daily activities (p = 0.000), depressed mood (p = 0.000), feelings of worthlessness or guilt (p = 0.000), decreased concentration (p = 0.002), and agitation or psychomotor retardation (p = 0.002). CONCLUSION: We found that religion can be a protective factor against suicidal behavior. Besides providing a social support network needed by women during pregnancy, religion supports belief in life after death and in a loving God, giving purpose to life and self esteem and providing models for coping with crises. The results show the importance of prevention and early diagnosis of suicidal behavior, since suicide is an attempt to move from one sphere to another by force, seeking to solve what seems impossible.
This article was published in Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992)
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Psychology