A qualitative systematic review of experiences and perceptions of youth suicide
Grimmond, Jessica | 2019-06-12
Background: Suicide remains a global issue with over 800,000 people dying from suicide every year. Youth suicide is especially serious due to the years of life lost when a young person takes their own life. Social interactions, perceived support, genetic predisposition and mental illnesses are factors associated with suicide ideation.
To review and synthesize qualitative studies that explored the experiences and perceptions of suicide in people 25 years old and younger.
Qualitative systematic review.
PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus and CINAHL were searched alongside hand-searching reference lists up to October 2018.
Methodological quality was assessed using the qualitative Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist. The 27 studies included in the review centered around youth suicide and included interviews with young people and members of the wider community. Thematic synthesis focused on factors leading to suicide attempts, elements important to recovery, beliefs within the community, and treatment/prevention strategies.
Thematic analysis of the articles revealed four categories: i) triggers and risks leading to suicidality; ii) factors involved in recovery; iii) need for institutional treatment/prevention strategies; and iv) beliefs about suicide at a community level. The first category was further subdivided into: i) behaviours; ii) feelings/emotions; iii) family influences; iv) peer influences; and v) other. The second category was split into: i) interpersonal; ii) cultural; and iii) individual influences, while the third category was divided into i) education; and ii) treatment.
Youth suicide is a complex issue with many causes and risks factors which interact with one another. For successful treatment and prevention, procedural reform is needed, along with a shift in societal attitudes toward emotional expression and suicide.