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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 May 8;15(5). pii: E937. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15050937.

Systematic Literature Review of Attempted Suicide and Offspring.

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Regional Centre on Violence, Trauma and Suicide Prevention, Region East, 0405 Oslo, Norway.
Division of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Oslo University Hospital, 0424 Oslo, Norway.
Regional Centre on Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Oslo University Hospital, 0424 Oslo, Norway.
Department of Acute Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, 0424 Oslo, Norway.
Department of General Practice, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, 0450 Oslo, Norway.


Background: Exposure to parental suicide attempt is associated with higher risks of adverse outcomes like lower educational performance, drug abuse and delinquent behavior. When a patient is hospitalized after a suicide attempt, this presents a unique opportunity to identify whether the patient has children, and thereby provide adequate follow-up for both the parent/patient and their children. The objective of this paper was to review the existing literature on follow-up measures for children subjected to parental suicide attempt. Methods: In line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, we conducted a systematic literature search. Results: The search resulted in a total of 1275 article titles, of which all abstracts were screened. Out of these, 72 full text papers were read, and a final four articles were included. Three of the included papers described parts of the same study from an emergency department in The Hague, where a protocol was implemented for monitoring and referring children of parents attempting suicide. The fourth article described the association between maternal attempted suicide and risk of abuse or neglect of their children. Conclusions: The lack of research in this particular area is striking. The circumstances surrounding a parent’s suicide attempt call for appropriate familial care.


children; intervention; offspring; parents; suicide attempt

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