Journal List > Korean J Adult Nurs > v.32(1) > 1142900

Ryu and Park: Factors Related to Suicide Ideation in Older Women Living Alone



This study aimed to investigate suicide ideation and attempts in older women living alone and to identify the factors affecting suicide ideation.


This is a cross-sectional correlational study using secondary data analysis. Original data (n=1,023) were collected using face-to-face interviews from August to October 2018 in Siheung city to investigate the need for health care and daily life support services. Study participants were 297 older women (age=74.67±5.35), with inclusion criteria being women≥65 years old and living alone, those without cognitive impairment(Mini-Mental State Examination-2 Standard Version (MMSE-2 SV)≥24), and those who could evaluate instrumental activities of daily living. Data were analyzed using descriptive analysis, independent t-test, Pearson's correlation coefficient, and multiple linear regression analysis.


Data analysis showed 26.9% of participants reported suicide ideation with a frequency of 4.14 out of 10 points. Among study participants, 8.8% had attempted suicide with an average of 2.65 attempts. Participants who had children thought about suicide more than those who did not. Living children, personal income, participation in economic activity, social support, depression, chronic diseases, frailty, and suicide attempts were significantly correlated with suicide ideation. Therefore, depression, frailty and suicide attempts were factors affecting suicide ideation for older women living alone.


Our findings provide evidence that evaluating depression, frailty, and history of suicide attempts is important for suicide prevention in older women living alone.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

General Characteristics, Social Network, and Social Support of Participants (N=297)


SD=standard deviation.

Table 2

Depression, Chronic Diseases, IADL, Frailty, Suicide Ideation and Attempts of Participants (N=297)


IADL=instrumental activities of daily living; SD=standard deviation; Most frequent responses top 5 (multiple responses).

Table 3

Differences in Suicide Ideation According to General Characteristics, Social Network (N=297)


SD=standard deviation; Mann-Whitney test.

Table 4

Correlations between Suicide Ideation and Other Variables (N=297)


IADL=instrumental activities of daily living.

Table 5

Factors affecting Suicide Ideation (N=297)


CI=confidence interval; SE=standard error; VIF=variance inflation factor.


This research was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HI18C1284).


CONFLICTS OF INTEREST The authors declared no conflict of interest.


  • Study concept and design acquisition - RSI and PY-H.

  • Data collection - RSI.

  • Analysis and interpretation of the data - RSI and PY-H.

  • Drafting and critical revision of the manuscript - RSI and PY-H.


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