Year: 2022 Source: Global Mental Health. (2022). 1–12. Published online 1 April 2022. SIEC No: 20220360

Background: Estimates of depression in suicidal behavior in South Asia would help to formulate suicide prevention strategies in the region that hasn’t been assessed yet.
Objectives: We aimed to systematically assess the prevalence of depression in fatal and non-fatal attempts of suicide in eight South Asian countries.
Methods: We searched Medline, Embase, and PsychINFO by specific search terms to identify articles assessing depression in fatal and non-fatal attempts of suicide in South Asian countries published between 2001 and 2020. Two separate meta-analyses were conducted for fatal and non-fatal attempts. Due to the high heterogeneity of studies (96–98%), random-effects models were used to calculate pooled prevalence rates.
Results: A total of 38 studies was identified from five south Asian countries (India [27], Pakistan [6], Sri Lanka [3], Nepal [1], and Bangladesh [1]). The majority of studies (n = 27) were published after 2010. Twenty-two studies reported non-fatal attempts, and sixteen reported suicide. The prevalence of depression among non-fatal attempts ranged from 14% to 78% where the pooled prevalence rate was 32.7% [95% CI 26–39.3%]. The prevalence of depression among suicides ranged from 8% to 79% where the pooled prevalence estimate was 37.3% [95% CI 26.9–47.6%].
Conclusions: This review revealed the pooled prevalence of depression among fatal and non-fatal suicidal attempts in South Asian countries, which seems to be lower when comparedto the Western countries. However, a cautious interpretation is warranted due to the heterogeneity of study methods, sample size, and measurement of depression.