Outcomes of community-based suicide prevention approaches that involve reducing access to pesticides: A systematic literature review
Reifels, L., Mishara, B.L., Dargis, L., Vijayakumar, L., Phillips, M.R., & Pirkis, J.
Pesticide ingestion is among the most commonly utilized means of suicide worldwide. Restricting access to pesticides at a local level is one strategy to address this major public health problem, but little is known about its effectiveness. We therefore conducted a systematic literature review to identify effective community‐based suicide prevention approaches that involve restricting access to pesticides.
We searched Embase, Scopus, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, and PubMed for well‐designed studies that reported on suicide‐related outcomes (i.e., attempted or completed suicide).
We identified only five studies that met our eligibility criteria (two randomized controlled trials, two studies with quasi‐experimental designs, and one study with a before‐and‐after design). These studies tested different interventions: the introduction of nonpesticide agricultural management, providing central storage facilities for pesticides, distributing locked storage containers to households, and local insecticide bans. The only sufficiently powered study produced no evidence of the effectiveness of providing household storage containers. Three interventions showed some promise in reducing pesticide suicides or attempts, with certain caveats.
Our review identified three community interventions that show some promise for reducing pesticide suicides by restricting access to means, which will require replication in large, well‐designed trials before they can be recommended.