Year: 2023 Source: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. (2023). SIEC No: 20231733

There might be differential characteristics between those who have attempted suicide once in their lifetime (single attempters) and those who have attempted suicide two or more times (multiple attempters). We aimed to identify the factors that differentiate single and multiple attempters in child and adolescents. This study was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, and the review protocol was registered in PROSPERO. We conducted a systematic literature search in three databases to identify original studies exploring the characteristics of single attempters vs. multiple attempters among adolescents. We considered a wide range for the definition of adolescent, following most recent recommendations: 10-24 years. We carried out a meta-analysis. Fourteen studies were included in the systematic review and 13 in the meta-analysis with a total sample of with a total of 4286 participants. The factors statistically significantly associated with being a multiple attempter in the meta-analysis were: anxiety disorders, depression severity, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, aggressiveness, and hopelessness. Multiple attempters have a more severe clinical profile, with greater severity of symptoms. Knowledge of the risk factors associated with being a multiple attempter could help us to predict which patients are more likely to reattempt suicide and need further monitoring and a tailored treatment. Prevention programs tailored for the adolescent population, along with identification of early risk factors, could help to prevent suicidal behavior among this vulnerable population.