Intervention studies in suicide prevention research
Huisman, A., Pirkis, J., & Robinson, J.
Background: Despite the growing strength of the field of suicidology, various commentators have recently noted that insufficient effort is being put into intervention research, and that this is limiting our knowledge of which suicide prevention strategies might be the most effective. Aims: To profile the types of studies currently being undertaken by suicide prevention researchers from around the world, in order to examine the relative balance between intervention studies and other types of research. Methods: We searched the abstract books from the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th Congresses of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the 10th, 11th, and 12th European Symposia on Suicide and Suicidal Behavior (held between 2003 and 2008), and classified the abstracts in them according to a modified version of an existing taxonomy. Results: We screened 1209 abstracts and found that only 12% described intervention studies. Conclusions: We need to redouble our efforts and make intervention studies our priority if we are to combat the global problem of suicide.