Workman, Don E., Dawn M. Bellanti, Marija S. Kelber, Erin H. Beech, Derek Smolenski, Nigel E. Bush, Amanda Edwards‐Stewart, Nancy Skopp, Jean L. Otto, Abigail L. Garvey Wilson, Maria A. Morgan, Suman Ojha, & Bradley E. Belsher (2021, July). A systematic analysis and prioritization of suicide prevention research gaps. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (ePub in advance of print) (doi: 10.1111/sltb.12766) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/sltb.12766)

Abstract: Objective: This study identified and prioritized research gaps for suicide prevention in the Department of Defense to inform future research investments. Methods: The 2019 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide was the primary source document for research gaps, supplemented by an updated literature search. Institutional stakeholders rated the identified research gaps and ranked the gap categories. We used Q factor analysis to derive a list of the prioritized research gaps and category rankings. Results: Thirty-five research gaps were identified and prioritized. The highest rated research gap topic was lethal means safety interventions and their effectiveness in increasing safety behaviors and/or reducing suicide-related outcomes. Research on the effectiveness of crisis response planning and several other non-pharmacological interventions (e.g., implementation of cognitive-behavioral therapy, technology-based behavioral interventions, and applications of dialectical behavior therapy to non-Borderline patients) were also rated highly by stakeholders. Conclusions: This work generated a list of priorities for future suicide research as evaluated by Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs stakeholders. Our findings can help guide the efforts of suicide researchers and inform decisions about future research funding for suicide prevention.

Don E Workman <don.workman@va.gov> is in the Psychological Health Center of Excellence, Defense Health Agency, Silver Spring, MD, USA.

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