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Suicide and self-harm in low- and middle- income countries during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review
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DOI (Published version): 10.1101/2021.09.03.21263083
There is widespread concern over the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide and self-harm globally, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) where the burden of these behaviours is greatest. We synthesised the evidence from the published literature on the impact of the p...
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
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There is widespread concern over the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide and self-harm globally, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) where the burden of these behaviours is greatest. We synthesised the evidence from the published literature on the impact of the pandemic on suicide and self-harm in LMIC.This review is nested within a living systematic review that continuously identifies published evidence (all languages) through a comprehensive automated search of multiple databases (PubMed; Scopus; medRxiv, PsyArXiv; SocArXiv; bioRxiv; the WHO COVID-19 database; and the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset by Semantic Scholar (up to 11/2020), including data from Microsoft Academic, Elsevier, arXiv and PubMed Central.) All articles identified by the 4th August 2021 were screened. Papers reporting on data from a LMIC and presenting evidence on the impact of the pandemic on suicide or self-harm were included.A total of 22 studies from LMIC were identified representing data from 12 countries. There was an absence of data from Africa. The reviewed studies mostly report on the early months of COVID-19 and were generally methodologically poor. Few studies directly assessed the impact of the pandemic. The most robust evidence, from time-series studies, indicate either a reduction or no change in suicide and self-harm behaviour.As LMIC continue to experience repeated waves of the virus and increased associated mortality, against a backdrop of vaccine inaccessibility and limited welfare support, continued efforts are needed to track the indirect impact of the pandemic on suicide and self-harm in these countries.
Preprint article before certification by peer review. Full text available via DOI link to medRxiv
Swansea University Medical School