Research priorities in suicide prevention: Review of Australian research from 2010-2017 highlights continued need for intervention research

Lennart Reifels, Maria Ftanou, Karolina Krysinska, Anna Machlin, Jo Robinson, Jane Pirkis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Suicide is a major public health concern in Australia and globally, requiring targeted research efforts to build the evidence base for its effective prevention. We examined current and future priorities in Australian suicide prevention research during the period 2010-2017, and compared these to 1999-2006 baseline data. We classified current research priorities in terms of the type of research published in 424 journal articles and 36 grants and fellowships funded during 2010-2017. A questionnaire administered to 390 stakeholders identified future research priorities. The total number of suicide prevention focussed journal articles and the value of funded grants increased dramatically. Congruent with baseline data, current research priorities in 2010-2017 reflected a strong emphasis on epidemiological studies, while funding for intervention studies declined. This is despite the fact that stakeholders continually identified intervention studies as being the highest future research priority. If we are to make real advances in suicide prevention, we need to know what works, and identify and test effective interventions. This study highlighted the existing dearth and continued need for intervention research. Mechanisms to support future intervention research in suicide prevention are likely to lead to significant gains in knowledge and population health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number807
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Intervention studies
  • Research
  • Suicide

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