Strategies to prevent death by suicide

Riblet, N.B.V. et al. The British Journal of Psychiatry | Published online: April 2017

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Background: Few randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have shown decreases in suicide.

Results: Among 8647 citations, 72 RCTs and 6 pooled analyses met inclusion criteria.

  • Three RCTs (n = 2028) found that the World Health Organization (WHO) brief intervention and contact (BIC) was associated with significantly lower odds of suicide (OR = 0.20, 95% CI 0.09–0.42).
  • Six RCTs (n = 1040) of cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) for suicide prevention
  • Six RCTs of lithium (n = 619) yielded non-significant findings (OR = 0.34, 95% CI 0.12–1.03 and OR = 0.23, 95% CI 0.05–1.02, respectively).

Conclusions: The WHO BIC is a promising suicide prevention strategy. No other intervention showed a statistically significant effect in reducing suicide.

Read the full abstract here

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