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BMC Psychiatry. 2016 May 4;16:122. doi: 10.1186/s12888-016-0820-y.

Predictive models for suicidal thoughts and behaviors among Spanish University students: rationale and methods of the UNIVERSAL (University & mental health) project.

Author information

1
Health Services Research Group, IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute), Barcelona, Spain.
2
Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Barcelona, Spain.
3
CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.
4
University of Cadiz (UCA), Cádiz, Spain.
5
Institut Universitari d'Investigació en Ciències de la Salut (IUNICS-IDISPA), University of Balearic Islands (UIB), Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
6
Miguel Hernandez University of Elche (UMH), Alicante, Spain.
7
University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), San Sebastian, Spain.
8
Outpatient Mental Health Care Network, Osakidetza-Basque Health Service. Biodonosti Health Research Institute, San Sebastian, Spain.
9
Department of Mental Health, Corporació Sanitaria Parc Taulí, Sabadell, Spain.
10
Universitair Psychiatrisch Centrum, KULeuven (UPC-KUL), Leuven, Belgium.
11
Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
12
Center for Depression, Anxiety and Stress Research, McLean Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
13
Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
14
Health Services Research Group, IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute), Barcelona, Spain. jalonso@imim.es.
15
Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Barcelona, Spain. jalonso@imim.es.
16
CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain. jalonso@imim.es.
17
IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute), PRBB Building, Doctor Aiguader 88, 08003, Barcelona, Spain. jalonso@imim.es.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Suicide is a leading cause of death among young people. While suicide prevention is considered a research and intervention priority, longitudinal data is needed to identify risk and protective factors associate with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Here we describe the UNIVERSAL (University and Mental Health) project which aims are to: (1) test prevalence and 36-month incidence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors; and (2) identify relevant risk and protective factors associated with the incidence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among university students in Spain.

METHODS:

An ongoing multicenter, observational, prospective cohort study of first year university students in 5 Spanish universities. Students will be assessed annually during a 36 month follow-up. The surveys will be administered through an online, secure web-based platform. A clinical reappraisal will be completed among a subsample of respondents. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors will be assess with the Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors Interview (SITBI) and the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS). Risk and protective factors will include: mental disorders, measured with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview version 3.0 (CIDI 3.0) and Screening Scales (CIDI-SC), and the Epi-Q Screening Survey (EPI-Q-SS), socio-demographic variables, self-perceived health status, health behaviors, well-being, substance use disorders, service use and treatment. The UNIVERSAL project is part of the International College Surveys initiative, which is a core project within the World Mental Health consortium. Lifetime and the 12-month prevalence will be calculated for suicide ideation, plans and attempts. Cumulative incidence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and mental disorders will be measured using the actuarial method. Risk and protective factors of suicidal thoughts and behaviors will be analyzed by Cox proportional hazard models.

DISCUSSION:

The study will provide valid, innovative and useful data for developing prevention programs for youth suicide and for improving early identification for high-risk students. The longitudinal design of this study will improve causal interpretation of analyzed associations, needed for generating and validating predictive models. It will represent the first results about suicidal thoughts and behaviors in the Spanish university population. The World Mental Health Survey collaboration will permit accurate cross-national comparisons.

KEYWORDS:

Cohort studies; Mental health; Predictive modelling; Protective factors; Risk factors; Suicide; University students

PMID:
27142432
PMCID:
PMC4855708
DOI:
10.1186/s12888-016-0820-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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