• Type :#article
  • Date read: 2023-04-26
  • Bibtex: @asarnow2019
  • Bibliography: Asarnow, J. R., & Mehlum, L. (2019). Practitioner Review: Treatment for suicidal and self-harming adolescents – advances in suicide prevention care. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 60(10), 1046–1054. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13130

Example citation

My notes

  • There was a previous review in 2012. It doesn’t really seem that they are using any particular search strategy of review protocol? Ah, the 2012 review does a standard PubMed etc search for RCTs
  • “Level 1 evidence”, I wonder where this is from
  • One challenge in combining European and American results: In the US they have tried to distinguish NSSI from self-injury with suicidal intent, but in Europe it’s usually lumped together.
    • In the review they combined it all, Europe-style
    • ““SA refers to self-harm with some suicidal intent, NSSI to self-harm without suicidal intent, and SA/self-harm is used when evidence holds for both overall selfharm and SAs” (Asarnow and Mehlum, 2019, p. 2)”
  • They do a review with commentary on trials, and then end with suggestions for clinical guidance


Background Suicide is a leading cause of death globally in youths, and suicidal behavior and self-harm are major clinical concerns. This article updates the previous practitioner review (2012) with the aims of integrating new research evidence, including that reported in this Special Issue. Methods The article reviews scientific evidence related to steps in the care pathway for identifying and treating youths with elevated suicide/self-harm risk, specifically: (a) screening and risk assessment; (b) treatment; and (c) community-level suicide prevention strategies. Results Review of current evidence indicates that major advances have been achieved in knowledge regarding clinical and preventive practices for reducing suicide and self-harm risk in adolescents. The evidence supports the value of brief screeners for identifying youths with elevated suicide/self-harm risk and the efficacy of some treatments for suicidal and self-harm behavior. Dialectical behavior therapy currently meets Level 1 criteria (2 independent trials supporting efficacy) as the first well-established treatment for self-harm, and other approaches have shown efficacy in single randomized controlled trials. The effectiveness of some community-based suicide prevention strategies for reducing suicide mortality and suicide attempt rates has been demonstrated. Conclusions Current evidence can guide practitioners in delivering effective care for youth suicide/self-harm risk. Treatments and preventive interventions that address the psychosocial environment and enhance the ability of trusted adults to protect and support youths, while also addressing the psychological needs of youths appear to yield the greatest benefits. Although additional research is needed, our current challenge is to do our best to effectively utilize new knowledge to improve care and outcomes in our communities. PDF: asarnow_2019_practitioner_review_-treatment_for_suicidal_and_self-harming_adolescents–.pdf