National Suicide Research Foundation - Journal Articles

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    Presentations of self-harm and suicide-related ideation among the Irish Traveller indigenous population to hospital emergency departments: evidence from the National Clinical Programme for self-harm.
    (Springer Nature Switzerland AG, 2023-02-17T00:00:00Z) Kavalidou, Katerina; Daly, Caroline; McTernan, Niall; Corcoran, Paul
    Purpose: Previous research has examined the suicide risk of the Irish Traveller population, but less is known about self-harm and suicidal ideation among this ethnic minority group, which are established risk factors for suicide. The aim of the current study was to compare the presentation-based self-harm and suicide-related ideation of Traveller to non-Traveller patients and describe any ethnic disparities in the aftercare of their presentation. Methods: Data were obtained from the service improvement database of an Irish dedicated national programme for the assessment of those presenting to emergency departments (EDs) due to self-harm and suicide-related ideation. Presentation data from 24 EDs were analysed and Poisson regression was used to assess the age–sex-adjusted relative risk of hospital-presenting self-harm and suicide-related ideation. Results: 24,473 presentations were recorded with 3% of the presentations made by Irish Travellers. Female Traveller patients had 3·04 (95% CI 2·51–3·68) higher risk for suicide-related ideation and 3·85 (95% CI 3·37–4·41) for self-harm, compared to white Irish female patients. Male Traveller patients had 4·46 (95% CI 3·86–5·16) higher risk for suicide-related ideation and 5·43 (95% CI 4·75–6·21) higher rates for self-harm. The highest rate ratios for self-harm were observed among older Traveller patients [male: 9·23 (95% CI 5·93–14·39); female: 6·79 (95% CI 4·37–10·57)]. A higher proportion of Traveller patients requested no next of kin involvement, compared to other ethnicities. Conclusions: Given that Irish Travellers are at higher risk of self-harm and suicide-related ideation presentations compared to other ethnic groups, EDs should be viewed as an important suicide intervention point.
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    Profile of people attending emergency departments with thoughts of self-harm and suicide: A descriptive study of a nurse-led programme in Ireland
    (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2023-03-29T00:00:00Z) Kavalidou, Katerina; Zortea, Tiago C.; Griffin, Eve; Troya, M. Isabela; Irish Research Council
    Increasing research has been conducted on individuals presenting with self-harm at emergency departments (EDs). However, less is known about individuals presenting to EDs with only self-harm ideation. We aimed to describe the characteristics of those attending Irish hospitals with self-harm ideation and investigate any differences in comparison to those presenting with suicide ideation. A prospective cohort study was conducted on Irish ED presentations due to suicidal and self-harm ideation. Data were obtained from the service improvement data set of a dedicated nurse-led National Clinical programme for the assessment of those presenting to Irish emergency departments due to Self-harm and Suicide-related Ideation (NCPSHI). A total of 10 602 anonymized presentation data were analysed from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2019. Descriptive analysis was conducted to compare those with suicidal and self-harm ideation on sociodemographic and care interventions. Being female and aged <29 were more prevalent among the self-harm ideation presentations. Compared to the self-harm ideation group, a higher proportion of those with suicidal thoughts received an emergency care plan (63% vs 58%, p = 0.002) and General Practitioner letter sent within 24 h of presentation (75% vs 69%, p = 0.045). Little variation was found between hospitals for self-harm ideation in both years. Our study suggests that females and younger populations are more prevalent in hospital presentations due self-harm ideation, while presentations related to suicidal ideation are more often made by males and involving substance use. Attention should be given to the relationship between clinicians' attitudes towards care provision and the content of suicide-related ideation ED disclosure.
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    Iran's national suicide prevention program
    (Hogrefe, 2022-05-27) Rezaeian, Mohsen; Platt, Stephen; Arensman, Ella
    Background and Aims: Iran is one of the few countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) to have developed a national suicide prevention program (NSPP). This report introduces Iran's NSPP to policy planners and researchers working in suicide prevention, and is intended to encourage other low- and middle-income countries to develop, implement, and evaluate their own NSPPs. Method: This was a case study of a NSPP in one country, integrating quantitative and qualitative data. Bibliographic searches were conducted using both international and national databases, supplemented by other documents. The study benefited from the experiential evidence provided by the senior author. Results: While the national incidence of suicide is low, there are higher rates among young adults, particularly women, in western regions. In 2010, Iran's NSPP was integrated into primary health care. A rigorous evaluation of Iran's suicide prevention program concluded that Iran has the potential to take a leadership role in suicide prevention within the EMR, although several challenges were identified. Limitation: The findings of this case study cannot be generalized to other contexts. Conclusion: Given Iran's unstable situation, the NSPP needs to be monitored, evaluated, and adjusted according to evidence and ongoing changing national and local needs.
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    The development and validation of a dashboard prototype for real-time suicide mortality data
    (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-08) Benson, Ruth; Brunsdon, C.; Rigby, J.; Corcoran, P.; Ryan, M.; Cassidy, E.; Dodd, P.; Hennebry, D.; Arensman, Ella; Health Research Board
    Data visualisation is key to informing data-driven decision-making, yet this is an underexplored area of suicide surveillance. By way of enhancing a real-time suicide surveillance system model, an interactive dashboard prototype has been developed to facilitate emerging cluster detection, risk profiling and trend observation, as well as to establish a formal data sharing connection with key stakeholders via an intuitive interface. Individual-level demographic and circumstantial data on cases of confirmed suicide and open verdicts meeting the criteria for suicide in County Cork 2008-2017 were analysed to validate the model. The retrospective and prospective space-time scan statistics based on a discrete Poisson model were employed via the R software environment using the "rsatscan" and "shiny" packages to conduct the space-time cluster analysis and deliver the mapping and graphic components encompassing the dashboard interface. Using the best-fit parameters, the retrospective scan statistic returned several emerging non-significant clusters detected during the 10-year period, while the prospective approach demonstrated the predictive ability of the model. The outputs of the investigations are visually displayed using a geographical map of the identified clusters and a timeline of cluster occurrence. The challenges of designing and implementing visualizations for suspected suicide data are presented through a discussion of the development of the dashboard prototype and the potential it holds for supporting real-time decision-making. The results demonstrate that integration of a cluster detection approach involving geo-visualisation techniques, space-time scan statistics and predictive modelling would facilitate prospective early detection of emerging clusters, at-risk populations, and locations of concern. The prototype demonstrates real-world applicability as a proactive monitoring tool for timely action in suicide prevention by facilitating informed planning and preparedness to respond to emerging suicide clusters and other concerning trends.
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    Study protocol for the implementation and evaluation of the Self-harm Assessment and Management for General Hospitals programme in Ireland (SAMAGH)
    (BioMed Central Ltd, 2020) Arensman, Ella; Troya, M. Isabela; Nicholson, Sarah; Sadath, Anvar; Cully, Grace; Ramos Costa, Ana Paula; Benson, Ruth; Corcoran, Paul; Griffin, Eve; Williamson, Eileen; Eustace, Joe; Shiely, Frances; Browne, John; Rigby, Jan; Jeffers, Anne; Cassidy, Eugene; Health Research Board
    Background: Previous self-harm is one of the strongest predictors of future self-harm and suicide. Increased risk of repeated self-harm and suicide exists amongst patients presenting to hospital with high-risk self-harm and major self-harm repeaters. However, so far evidence-based training in the management of self-harm for mental health professionals is limited. Within this context, we aim to develop, implement and evaluate a training programme, SAMAGH, Self-harm Assessment and Management Programme for General Hospitals in Ireland. SAMAGH aims to (a) reduce hospital-based self-harm repetition rates and (b) increase rates of mental health assessments being conducted with self-harm patients. We also aim to evaluate the training on self-harm knowledge, attitudes, and skills related outcomes of healthcare professionals involved in the training. Methods/design: The study will be conducted in three phases. First, the SAMAGH Training Programme has been developed, which comprises two parts: 1) E-learning Programme and 2) Simulation Training. Second, SAMAGH will be delivered to healthcare professionals from general hospitals in Ireland. Third, an outcome and process evaluation will be conducted using a pre-post design. The outcome evaluation will be conducted using aggregated data from the National Self-Harm Registry Ireland (NSHRI) on self-harm repetition rates from all 27 public hospitals in Ireland. Aggregated data based on the 3-year average (2016, 2017, 2018) self-harm repetition rates prior to the implementation of the SAMAGH will be used as baseline data, and NSHRI data from 6 and 12 months after the implementation of SAMAGH will be used as follow-up. For the process evaluation, questionnaires and focus groups will be administered and conducted with healthcare professionals who completed the training. Discussion: This study will contribute to the evidence base regarding the effectiveness of an evidence informed training programme that aims to reduce repeated hospital self-harm presentations and to improve compliance with self-harm assessment and management. This study is also expected to contribute to self-harm and suicide training with the possibility of being translated to other settings. Its feasibility will be evaluated through a process evaluation.