Year: 2020 Source: HRB Open Research. (2020). Published online 17 July 2020. SIEC No: 20200623

Background: Research over the past several decades has shown an increased risk for completed suicide among people who use drugs (PWUD). However, no study to date has attempted to summarise the available literature on the variety of risk factors associated with this increased risk. This paper presents a protocol for a scoping review that aims to systematically map and synthesise the extent and nature of published, unpublished and grey literature related to risk factors for suicide PWUD.
Methods: The following six-stage methodological framework for scoping reviews proposed by Arksey and O’Malley with enhancements by Levac and colleagues will be used: (1) identifying the research question, (2) identifying relevant studies, (3) study selection, (4) charting/mapping the data, (5) collating, summarising and reporting results and (6) expert consultation. The review will be conducted and reported in accordance with the PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR). Key inclusion and exclusion criteria will be developed to guide literature screening and data charting. Three reviewers will conduct the initial screening of published, unpublished and grey literature. Identified risk factors will be collated, summarised and categorised iteratively by two independent reviewers. Stakeholder consultation will occur with experts from a national steering committee, a national advisory group, a national suicide prevention
centre and a European drug monitoring centre.
Conclusion: Collating and thematically categorising the various risk factors for suicide among this high-risk group will hold important implications for future research, policy and practice. The research will be disseminated through  publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal and a conference presentation, and by sharing the findings with key stakeholders working within research, policy-making and professional practice contexts.