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Prevalence of Suicidal Ideation and Associated Risk Factors among Adults with Disabilities

Author(s): Yu-Chen Lin, Chu-Yeh Chen, Ming-Shyan Lin, Po-Han Chen, Mei-Yen Chen


To explore the prevalence of suicidal ideation, psychological symptoms, and associated risk factors among this population.


Community-based health screening plays an important role in the early detection of psychological symptom and suicidal ideation. People with disabilities are especially at risk for suicide. There is a paucity of research about the prevalence of suicidal ideation and associated risk factors among adults with disabilities.


A community-based, cross-sectional study is used.


This study was part of a health promotion program combined with a multidisciplinary approach for community adults with disabilities in Chiayi County, Taiwan. Eight hundred and thirty community adults with disabilities participated in this study. Assessed parameters included Brief Symptom Rating Scale (BSRS-5), suicidal ideation, and health-related behaviours. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics and a multivariate logistic regression model.


Over one-third of the participants (n=397, 47.8%) had a physical disability, and the remainder had an intellectual and/or combination of disabilities. Approximately 12.8% of participants (106/830) reported having suicidal ideation and 27.8% displayed psychological symptoms. The associated risk factors of suicidal ideation were unsatisfied health status (OR=3.44, 95% CI=1.40-8.47, p=0.007), and psychological symptoms (OR=6.92, 95% CI=4.19-11.43, p<0.001), after adjusting for potential confounding variables (i.e. age, gender, and education).


This study identified a high prevalence of suicidal ideation, psychological symptoms, and unhealthy behaviours among adults with disabilities. The enhancement of suicide prevention and the launch health promotion programmes, through regular mental health assessment,are necessary for this population. Relevance to clinical practice: The results can be used to highlight the value of a multidisciplinary approach for the early detection of suicidal ideation and its associated risk factors for this population.

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