Self-immolation in Iran, risk factors and prevention strategies


Zahra Heidari Zadi 1 , Shahram Mami 1 , Habibolah Khazaie 2 , Homayoun Sadeghi-Bazargani 3 , Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi 4 , Reza Mohammadi 5 , Alireza Ahmadi 6 , *

1 Dept. of Clinical Psychology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University of Ilam, Ilam, Iran

2 Dept. of Psychiatry, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

3 Road Traffic Injury Research Centre, Department of Statistics & Epidemiology, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

4 Dept. of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, United States

5 WHO Collaborating Centre on Community Safety Promotion, Stockholm, Sweden

6 Suicide Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

How to Cite: Heidari Zadi Z, Mami S, Khazaie H, Sadeghi-Bazargani H, Bazargan-Hejazi S, et al. Self-immolation in Iran, risk factors and prevention strategies, J Kermanshah Univ Med Sci. 2015 ; 19(1):e70721. doi: 10.22110/jkums.v19i1.2146.


Journal of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences: 19 (1); e70721
Published Online: April 29, 2015
Article Type: Original Article
Received: October 25, 2014
Accepted: March 03, 2015




Background: approximately 1,500 to 2,000 people die due to self-immolation every year in Iran. This phenomenon is more pronounced in young women who comprise an active and reproductive segment of the population which can lead to numerous negative consequences in the individual, family, and community. However, since self-immolation is a preventable public health issue, the healthcare system is required to take seriously into account.

Methods: In this narrative review, several online databases, including PubMed, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, ISI, Scopus as well as offline resources, including textbooks and theses were searched for the published information about the risk and protective factors of self-immolation. An attempt was made to analyze and identify the epidemiologic patterns and prevention strategies of this phenomenon briefly.

Results: Our review revealed that the phenomenon of self-immolation is particularly frequent among young women in Iran and adjustment disorder is the most common risk factor for self-immolation.

Conclusion: This study shows that self-immolation is a significant health problem in some parts of Iran, suggesting that the health care system and authorities should be more attentive to this public health challenge. Furthermore, low-cost precautionary and preventive measures including counseling services can manage this phenomenon and should be of high priority for health officials.


Self-immolation Iran risk factors

© 2015, Journal of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.



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