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Open Access

Impact of COVID-19 on suicidal attempts identified by face-to-face interviews

  • Tae Kyu Ahn1
  • Soo Kang1
  • Young Ho Seo1
  • Jin Hui Paik1,*,†,
  • Seung Lyul Shin1,*,†,

1Department of Emergency medicine, Inha University College of Medicine, 22232 Jung-Gu, Incheon, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2023.088 Vol.19,Issue 5,September 2023 pp.230-237

Submitted: 18 November 2022 Accepted: 02 February 2023

Published: 08 September 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Jin Hui Paik E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Seung Lyul Shin E-mail:

† These authors contributed equally.


Epidemics of infectious diseases, such as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, have various psychiatric effects. These psychiatric problems are affected not only by the fear of infectious diseases, but also by economic and social changes following the epidemic. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on their suicide attempts through face-to-face interview records of suicide attempt patients who came to the emergency department (ED). This single-center, retrospective observational study was conducted with suicide attempt patients who visited ED from February 2020 to January 2021, who underwent a face-to-face interview with a psychiatrist. The patients were classified as a COVID-19 related group if they clearly mentioned a causal relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and suicide attempts in the interview record, and a non-related group if they did not. A total of 502 patients were included, of which 90 were classified as a COVID-19 related group. As a result of comparing the demographic characteristics between the two groups, there were more patients who were employers by occupation and patients without a psychiatric history in the COVID-19 related group compared to the non-related group. There were various differences in motives for suicide attempt between the two groups, and unemployment, financial difficulty, and loneliness were statistically significantly higher in the COVID-19 related group than in the non-related group. The number of COVID-19 related groups increased toward the late period, but there was no statistically significant difference in suicide attempt motives. In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a variety of effects on suicide attempt patients and also affects suicide attempts in patients with no psychiatric history. As motives for suicide attempts by the COVID-19 related group, unemployment, financial difficulty, and loneliness showed statistically significant results.


COVID-19 pandemic; Suicide attempt; Motives for suicide attempt; Face-to-face interview

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Tae Kyu Ahn,Soo Kang,Young Ho Seo,Jin Hui Paik,Seung Lyul Shin. Impact of COVID-19 on suicidal attempts identified by face-to-face interviews. Signa Vitae. 2023. 19(5);230-237.


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