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Effects Of Psychosocial Interventions Among People Cared For In Emergency Departments After A Suicide Attempt: A Systematic Review Protocol

Ana Paula Coutinho da Silva, Margarida Rangel Henriques, Inês Areal Rothes, Tiago Zortea, José Carlos Santos, Pim Cuijpers

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Abstract Background The care of the emergency department (ED) for a person after a suicide attempt can act as a protector against future suicidal behavior. For this reason, it is essential that the ED ensure an assistance that involves effective interventions in preventing suicidal behaviors. Among suicidal behaviors, it is known that suicide attempt is one of the most lethal risk factors for consummated suicide. In addition, the risk for further attempts is greater in the period from the immediate post-discharge up to 12 months after the last attempt. This makes the ED a key link in the suicide prevention chain. The purpose of this review is to investigate the effects of psychosocial interventions on suicide prevention, when applied in the ED after a suicide attempt. Methods This systematic review protocol was built and registered with the collaboration of a multidisciplinary scientific team. The review will include randomized clinical studies, quasi-experimental trials, and comparative observational studies, all conducted with people (11 years old or more) who have received a psychosocial suicide prevention intervention initiated in the ED after a suicide attempt. The research will be conducted across databases such as Cochrane Library, PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and DARE. The repetition of a suicide attempt and death by suicide as primary outcomes will be analyzed. The eligibility of the studies and data extraction will be carried out by matched and blind researchers. The risk of bias will be addressed using appropriate instruments. The analyses and synthesis of the results will be both qualitative and quantitative. Discussion From a public health point of view, suicide is in itself a public health problem and requires appropriate interventions at different levels of care in order to be prevented. Taking into account that a high percentage of people who died by suicide sought the ED for suicide attempt in the year before their death, the ED is a clinical context with a privileged potential to implement these interventions. Presently, several clinical studies seek to validate interventions to be adopted regarding the prevention of suicidal behavior. Current evidence indicates that different interventions must be strategically combined to reduce suicide attempts and their mortality. Systematic review registration PROSPERO registration number CRD42019131040