2018 April-May

Here we are with the first selection of articles published in the months of April and May 2018, about suicide, self harm and suicidal related topics from the major scientific journals. 

Three articles are presented with a small comment; next you’ll find ten titles of the most interesting ones selected for you. 


  • Anhedonia is associated with suicidal ideation independently of depression: A meta-analysis.
    Ducasse D, Loas G, Dassa D, Gramaglia C, Zeppegno P, Guillaume S, Olié E, Courtet P.
    Depress Anxiety. 2018 May;35(5):382-392. doi: 10.1002/da.22709.

This first article is a meta-analysis that is the result of a collaboration between the research teams of Montpellier (France) and Novara (Italy). It is focused on the association between anhedonia and current suicidal ideation and it included 15 observational case-control studies. Anhedonia was found to be higher among subjects with current suicidal ideation than in subjects without, with a medium effect size, also after controlling for depression and psychiatric disorders.

  • Treatment as usual (TAU) as a control condition in trials of cognitive behavioural-based psychotherapy for self-harm: Impact of content and quality on outcomes in a systematic review.
    Witt K, de Moraes DP, Salisbury TT, Arensman E, Gunnell D, Hazell P, Townsend E, van Heeringen K, Hawton K.
    J Affect Disord. 2018 Aug 1;235:434-447. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.04.025.

This meta-analysis was performed by several collaborators under the supervision of Prof. Hawton (Oxford, United Kingdom). In a previous Cochrane systematic review they analyzed the efficacy of cognitive behavioural-based psychotherapies (CB) compared to treatment as usual (TAU) in adults who self-harm [1, 2]. In the present study they examined the (1) content and (2) reporting quality of TAU in 18 randomized controlled trials and their relationship to outcomes. The apparent effectiveness of CB varied according to TAU reporting quality and content. Specifically, effects in favour of CB were strongest in trials in which TAU content was not clearly described (3 trials) compared to those in which TAU comprised multidisciplinary treatment (12 trials). Results underlined an important source of bias, so in future trials, both aspects of TAU should be better described.

[1] Hawton, K., Witt, K., Taylor Salisbury, T., Arensman, E., Gunnell, D., Hazell, P., Townsend, E., van Heeringen, K., 2016a. Psychosocial interventions following self harm in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Psychiatry 3, 740–750.

[2] Hawton, K., Witt, K., Taylor Salisbury, T., Arensman, E., Gunnell, D., Hazell, P., Townsend, E., van Heeringen, K., 2016b. Psychosocial interventions for self-harm in adults. Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. 5, CD012189.

  • Autistic Traits and Suicidal Thoughts, Plans, and Self-Harm in Late Adolescence: Population-Based Cohort Study.
    Culpin I, Mars B, Pearson RM, Golding J, Heron J, Bubak I, Carpenter P, Magnusson C, Gunnell D, Rai D.
    J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2018 May;57(5):313-320.e6. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2018.01.023.

This is a population-based cohort study performed by a team from Bristol, United Kingdom (UK). They examined associations between autism spectrum disorders (ASD) diagnosis and 4 dichotomized ASD traits (social communication, pragmatic language, repetitive behavior, and sociability) with suicidal thoughts, plans and self-harm at age 16 years in 5,031 members of the UK-based birth cohort study (the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, ALSPAC). They also assessed whether any associations were explained by depressive symptoms at 12 years.

Children with impaired social communication had a higher risk of self-harm with suicidal intent, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal plans by age 16 years as compared to those without. Approximately 32% of the total estimated association between impaired social communication and self-harm was explained by depressive symptoms at 12 years. No evidence was found of an association between both ASD diagnosis and other autism traits and outcomes.


  1. Anhedonia is associated with suicidal ideation independently of depression: A meta-analysis.
    Ducasse D, Loas G, Dassa D, Gramaglia C, Zeppegno P, Guillaume S, Olié E, Courtet P.Depress Anxiety. 2018 May;35(5):382-392. doi: 10.1002/da.22709. Epub 2017 Dec 12.PMID: 29232491
  2. Treatment as usual (TAU) as a control condition in trials of cognitive behavioural-based psychotherapy for self-harm: Impact of content and quality on outcomes in a systematic review.
    Witt K, de Moraes DP, Salisbury TT, Arensman E, Gunnell D, Hazell P, Townsend E, van Heeringen K, Hawton K.
    J Affect Disord. 2018 Aug 1;235:434-447. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.04.025. Epub 2018 Apr 4. Review. PMID: 29679896
  3. Ten-year prediction of suicide death using Cox regression and machine learning in a nationwide retrospective cohort study in South Korea.
    Choi SB, Lee W, Yoon JH, Won JU, Kim DW.J Affect Disord. 2018 Apr 15;231:8-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.01.019. Epub 2018 Jan 31.PMID: 29408160
  4. Comparative effect of antipsychotics on risk of self-harm among patients with schizophrenia.
    Ma CH, Chang SS, Tsai HJ, Gau SS, Chen IM, Liao SC, Chien YL, Hsieh MH, Wu CS.Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2018 Apr;137(4):296-305. doi: 10.1111/acps.12857. Epub 2018 Feb 11.PMID: 29430641
  5. School achievement as a predictor of depression and self-harm in adolescence: linked education and health record study.
    Rahman MA, Todd C, John A, Tan J, Kerr M, Potter R, Kennedy J, Rice F, Brophy S.Br J Psychiatry. 2018 Apr;212(4):215-221. doi: 10.1192/bjp.2017.69. Epub 2018 Mar 6.PMID: 29506597
  6. Digital phenotyping of suicidal thoughts.
    Kleiman EM, Turner BJ, Fedor S, Beale EE, Picard RW, Huffman JC, Nock MK.Depress Anxiety. 2018 Apr 10. doi: 10.1002/da.22730. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 29637663
  7. Prevalence, risk factors and clinical characteristics of suicidal ideation in Chinese patients with depression.
    Fang X, Zhang C, Wu Z, Peng D, Xia W, Xu J, Wang C, Cui L, Huang J, Fang Y.J Affect Disord. 2018 Aug 1;235:135-141. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.04.027. Epub 2018 Apr 5.PMID: 29655075
  8. Autistic Traits and Suicidal Thoughts, Plans, and Self-Harm in Late Adolescence: Population-Based Cohort Study.
    Culpin I, Mars B, Pearson RM, Golding J, Heron J, Bubak I, Carpenter P, Magnusson C, Gunnell D, Rai D.J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2018 May;57(5):313-320.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2018.01.023. Epub 2018 Mar 15.PMID: 29706160
  9. Common genetic contributions to high-risk trauma exposure and self-injurious thoughts and behaviors.
    Richmond-Rakerd LS, Trull TJ, Gizer IR, McLaughlin K, Scheiderer EM, Nelson EC, Agrawal A, Lynskey MT, Madden PAF, Heath AC, Statham DJ, Martin NG.Psychol Med. 2018 May 6:1-10. doi: 10.1017/S0033291718001034. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 29729685
  10. Measurement properties of tools used to assess suicidality in autistic and general population adults: A systematic review.
    Cassidy SA, Bradley L, Bowen E, Wigham S, Rodgers J.Clin Psychol Rev. 2018 Jun;62:56-70. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2018.05.002. Epub 2018 May 5. Review.PMID: 29778930

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: