Effective Programs on Suicide Prevention: Combination of Review of Systematic Reviews with Expert Opinions

Ali Fakhari, Hosein Azizi, Mostafa Farahbakhsh, Elham Davtalab Esmaeili


Background: Health managers often do not have adequate information for decision making on what strategy makes an effective impact on suicide prevention. Despite the availability of global Suicide Prevention Programs (SPP), no previous investigation has developed combinations of a review study with expert opinions. This study was aimed to identify effective programs for suicide prevention. Methods: We used two methods for selecting the effective SPP. (1) review of systematic reviews: we systematically searched to find relevant review studies through Medline, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, and gray literatures. (2) Expert panel opinions: effective programs identified from the previous step were combined with expert views via the Hanlon method. Results: A total of 27 since some of them were reports met the inclusion criteria. After full‑text screening 9 records included. We found the following 12 SPP for prioritizing and rating the most effective interventions by an expert panel: (1) case management of Suicide Attempters (SAs), (2) identification and treatment of depression, (3) registry for suicide, (4) identifying local determinants of Suicidal behavior (SB), (5) public awareness campaigns, (6) gatekeepers’ training, (7) conducting research, (8) school‑based training, (9) improving knowledge and attitudes, (10) restricting access to means, (11) at‑risk people screening, (12) mass media. Conclusions: Seven effective SPP identified after combined 12 included interventions with expert panel opinion: (1) Case management of SAs, (2) Identification and treatment of depression, (3) Improving a registry for suicide, (4) Identifying local determinants of SB, (5) Public awareness campaigns, (6) Training gatekeepers, and (7) Conducting research.


Expert testimony; Iran; suicide; review; systematic reviews

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