Taking stock what is known about suicide in Sri Lanka: A systematic review of diverse literature
Pearson, M., Zwi, A.B., Rouse, A.K., Fernando, R. Buckley, N.A., & McDuie-Ra, D.
Background: Suicide is and has been a major public health problem in Sri Lanka and has generated a wide range of literature. Aims: This review aimed to systematically appraise what is known about suicide in Sri Lanka. The patterns and content of articles were examined and recommendations for further research proposed. Method: The paper describes the systematic search, retrieval, and quality assessment of studies. Thematic analysis techniques were applied to the full text of the articles to explore the range and extent of issues covered. Results: Local authors generated a large body of evidence of the problem in early studies. The importance of the method of suicide, suicidal intention, and the high incidence of suicide were identified as key foci for publications. Neglected areas have been policy and health service research, gender analysis, and contextual issues. Conclusion: The literature reviewed has produced a broad understanding of the clinical factors, size of the problem, and social aspects. However, there remains limited evidence of prevention, risk factors, health services, and policy. A wide range of solutions have been proposed, but only regulation of pesticides and improved medical management proved to be effective to date.