2020 March-April

Here we are with the selection of articles published in the months of March and April 2020, about suicide, self harm and suicidal related topics from the major scientific journals.

Three articles are presented with a small comment by Raffaella Calati and Martina Rignanese.


Suicide risk and prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic
Gunnell, D., Appleby, L., Arensman, E., Hawton, K., John, A., Kapur, N., … Chan, L. F. (2020).
Suicide risk and prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancet Psychiatry.

This paper examines how mental health effects of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic might be profound on clinical and general population. There are suggestions that suicide rates will rise during this period, although this is not inevitable. Many risk factors for suicide (that could be exacerbated by fear, self-isolation, and physical distancing) can be found: loss of employment and financial stressors, mental illness, domestic violence and alcohol consumption that might increase during lockdown, access to means and irresponsible media reporting. The authors show some mental health services, government, communities, retailers and media professionals responses to mitigate suicide risk associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Item 1 – 3 of 3

Understanding suicidal ideation and behaviour in individuals with chronic pain: a review
of the role of novel transdiagnostic psychological factors
Kirtley, O. J., Rodham, K., Crane, C. (2020).
The Lancet Psychiatry.

In this study the authors reviewed a selection of published literature on chronic pain and suicide, concentrating on previously unexplored and not yet investigated lines of research. In particular, this review focuses on transdiagnostic psychological processes (factors and processes that contribute to chronic pain and suicidality independently, but that might also contribute to their comorbidity). This work has highlighted three promising areas for further study: future orientation, mental imagery, and psychological flexibility.

Item 2 – 3 of 3

Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Suicidal Ideation: A Systematic
Review and Meta-analysis
Büscher R, Torok M, Terhorst Y, Sander L. (2020).
JAMA Netw Open.

The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to verify if Internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (iCBT) is directly targeting suicidal ideation or behaviors associated with reduced suicidal ideation.
Six unique RCTs and 1567 participants were included. Results showed that participants assigned to the iCBT condition experienced a significantly reduced suicidal ideation compared to controls. Thanks to their high scalability, the implementation of iCBT interventions into health systems and communities might reduce the burden of suicidal ideation and, consequently, decrese rates of suicide mortality.

Item 3 – 3 of 3

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