The rate of transition to a suicide attempt among people with suicidal thoughts in the general population: A systematic review
Haregu, T., Cho, E., Spittal, M., & Armstrong, G.
To review and summarize evidence on the rate of transition from suicidal ideation to a suicide attempt, and the factors associated with this transition, in the general population.
A comprehensive search was conducted using MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Embase for relevant articles published between January 1, 2000, and March 3, 2021. We identified 18 eligible studies that examined the transition from suicidal ideation to a suicide attempt in non-clinical populations. We assessed the quality of the included studies using the MASTER scale. The review has been registered with PROSPERO (CRD42021248325).
Rates of transitioning to a suicide attempt among people with suicidal ideation varied substantially across studies, from 2.6 % to 37 %. Follow-up periods also varied substantially, from 12 to 300 months, impeding reliable comparisons across studies or pooling data for further analyses. The most examined risk factors were mental health disorders such as major depressive and anxiety disorders, which were typically associated with higher odds of transition to a suicide attempt.
High level of heterogeneity and limited quality of the studies.
The risk of transition from suicidal thoughts to a suicide attempt is moderate to high. Further longitudinal research is required to refine the rate and explore social determinants of transition from suicidal ideation to suicide attempts.