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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Suicide ideation and suicide attempt among female sex workers in China

Yan Hong1, Xiaoming Li2, Xiaoyi Fang3, Ran Zhao4, and Bo Wang2. (1) School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 624 N. Broadway, Room 750, Baltimore, MD 21205, 410-614-5857, yhong@jhsph.edu, (2) Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, 4201 St. Antoine Street, UHC-6D, Detroit, MI 48201, (3) Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Xinjiekou Wai Street No.19, Beijing, 100875, China, (4) Insititute of Developmental Psychology, Beijng Normal University, XinjieKou wai street,No 19, Beijng, 100875, China

Background: Female sex workers (FSWs) have been recognized as a group vulnerable to psychological distress. But studies on Chinese FSWs' mental health status and especially their suicide ideation and suicide attempt have been limited.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered among 454 FSWs in a rural county in south-west China. The participants were recruited from entertainment establishments through community outreach. Multiple logistic regressions were performed to identify risk factors associated with suicide ideation and suicide attempt.

Results: About 14% of FSWs had thought of suicide, and 8% had attempted suicide in the past 6 months. Risk factors for suicide ideation included having a stable partner (OR=2.64, 95% CI: 1.31, 5.33), dissatisfaction with life (OR=2.40, 95% CI: 1.29, 4.47), substance abuse (OR=2.08, 95% CI: 1.19, 3.63), and working in hair salons (as opposed to restaurants, OR=1.96, 95% CI: 1.01, 3.80), Risk factors for suicide attempt included worrying about not making enough money (OR=2.54, 95% CI: 1.15, 5.62) and having a stable partner (OR=1.52, 95% CI: 1.52, 12.08). In addition, FSWs who entered this profession because of financial reasons were less likely to have suicide ideation (OR=0.49, 95% CI: 0.25, 0.98) and suicide attempt (OR=0.32, 95% CI: 0.13, 0.75).

Conclusions: This study indicates that there were multiple risk factors for suicide ideation and suicide attempt among Chinese FSWs. The fact that risk factors reside in relationship, general life and working condition, and individual health risk underscore the importance of multi-faceted and culturally appropriate interventions to improve their mental health status.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Sex Workers, Suicide

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Mental Health, Women's Rights, and Overlooked Populations

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA