Pathophysiology and Prevention of Adolescent and Adult Suicide

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Biomedical and Health Research, Children and Families, Public Health
Board: Board on Neuroscience and Behavioral Health

Activity Description

The Institute of Medicine study committee examined the state of the science base, gaps in our knowledge, strategies for prevention, and research designs for the study of suicide devoting particular attention to:

  1. An assessment of the science base of suicide etiology, including cognitive, affective, behavioral, sociological, epidemiological, genetic, epigenetic, and neurobiological components. This included an examination of the vulnerability of specific populations (e.g., American Indians) and age groups (e.g., adolescents and aged).
  2. An evaluation of the current status of primary and secondary prevention including risk, protective factors, and issues of contagion. Access to methods of suicide and the availability of emergency interventions were considered. The committee considered strategies for prevention of suicide, including an examination of the efficacy of national and international interventions and prevention efforts.
  3. Strategies for studying suicide. This effort considered the ethics of incorporating suicidal patients into drug trials, the current classifications of suicide and suicidal behavior, behavioral measures to evaluate suicide risk and outcomes, and statistical methods.
  4. Conclusions concerning gaps in knowledge, research opportunities, and strategies for prevention of suicide.

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