Year: 2022 Source: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, (2022), 57, 2267–2277. SIEC No: 20221012
Purpose Suicide is a major public health problem, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, current data on temporal trends in suicide attempts are limited. Therefore, we explored the temporal trends in suicide attempts among adolescents aged 12–15 years from 12 LMICs. Methods The data for this study were obtained from the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) 2009–2017, wherein the interval between two surveys in most of the participating countries was approximately 6 years. The prevalences of suicide attempts were reported as weighted prevalences and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Pooled overall estimates were calculated using meta-analysis with a random-effects model. Linear regression was used to assess the associations of a country’s GNI/capita with the prevalence and temporal variations of suicide attempts. Results The pooled prevalence of suicide attempts in the LMICs decreased significantly from 17.56% in the first survey to 13.77% in the second survey (difference = 3.65%, 95% CI = 0.35–6.95%, P = 0.03). However, significant decreasing trends were only observed in two countries (Benin and Samoa), the prevalence in the remaining countries remained relatively stable. The pooled prevalence of suicide attempts decreased significantly in boys and in the 12- to 13 year age group (difference = 3.77% and 4.44%, Both P < 0.05). In addition, the correlations of gross national income per capita with the prevalences of suicide attempts was negative but not significant (P > 0.05). Conclusions Our findings reveal a decreasing trend in the prevalence of suicide attempts among 12–15 year-old adolescents in 12 LMICs. However, the trend varied in each country. This suggests the need for tailored suicide prevention strategies in each country to reduce suicide attempts.