A systematic review of elderly suicide prevention programs

Sylvie Lapierre, Annette Erlangsen, Margda Waern, Diego de Leo, Hirofumi Oyama, Paolo Scocco, Joseph J Gallo, Katalin Szanto, Yeates Conwell, Brian Draper, Paul Quinnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Suicide rates are highest among the elderly, yet research on suicide prevention in old age remains a much-neglected area. Aims: We carried out a systematic review to examine the results of interventions aimed at suicidal elderly persons and to identify successful strategies and areas needing further exploration. Methods: Searches through various electronic databases yielded 19 studies with an empirical evaluation of a suicide prevention or intervention program designed especially for adults aged 60 years and older. Results: Most studies were centered on the reduction of risk factors (depression screening and treatment, and decreasing isolation), but when gender was considered, programs were mostly efficient for women. The empirical evaluations of programs attending to the needs of high-risk older adults seemed positive; most studies showed a reduction in the level of suicidal ideation of patients or in the suicide rate of the participating communities. However, not all studies used measures of suicidality to evaluate the outcome of the intervention, and rarely did they aim at improving protective factors. Conclusions: Innovative strategies should improve resilience and positive aging, engage family and community gatekeepers, use telecommunications to reach vulnerable older adult, and evaluate the effects of means restriction and physicians education on elderly suicide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-98
Number of pages11
JournalCrisis
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Suicide
Telecommunications
Suicidal Ideation
Program Evaluation
Databases
Depression
Physicians
Education
Research
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Elderly
  • Intervention
  • Prevention
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Lapierre, S., Erlangsen, A., Waern, M., de Leo, D., Oyama, H., Scocco, P., ... Quinnett, P. (2011). A systematic review of elderly suicide prevention programs. Crisis, 32(2), 88-98. https://doi.org/10.1027/0227-5910/a000076

A systematic review of elderly suicide prevention programs. / Lapierre, Sylvie; Erlangsen, Annette; Waern, Margda; de Leo, Diego; Oyama, Hirofumi; Scocco, Paolo; Gallo, Joseph J; Szanto, Katalin; Conwell, Yeates; Draper, Brian; Quinnett, Paul.

In: Crisis, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2011, p. 88-98.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lapierre, S, Erlangsen, A, Waern, M, de Leo, D, Oyama, H, Scocco, P, Gallo, JJ, Szanto, K, Conwell, Y, Draper, B & Quinnett, P 2011, 'A systematic review of elderly suicide prevention programs', Crisis, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 88-98. https://doi.org/10.1027/0227-5910/a000076
Lapierre S, Erlangsen A, Waern M, de Leo D, Oyama H, Scocco P et al. A systematic review of elderly suicide prevention programs. Crisis. 2011;32(2):88-98. https://doi.org/10.1027/0227-5910/a000076
Lapierre, Sylvie ; Erlangsen, Annette ; Waern, Margda ; de Leo, Diego ; Oyama, Hirofumi ; Scocco, Paolo ; Gallo, Joseph J ; Szanto, Katalin ; Conwell, Yeates ; Draper, Brian ; Quinnett, Paul. / A systematic review of elderly suicide prevention programs. In: Crisis. 2011 ; Vol. 32, No. 2. pp. 88-98.
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