Suicide in sexual minority populations: A systematic review of evidence-based studies


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Abstract

Sexual minority populations are exposed to more forms of distress than heterosexual individuals, thereby increasing the risk of suicidal behavior. It therefore seems surprising that suicidal behavior in sexual minorities is not sufficiently addressed in the nursing literature.The aim of this review was to integrate evidence-based knowledge and experiences related to suicide in sexual minorities into the nursing literature. This study has been conducted according to PRISMA guidelines, which contains a basic systematic screening process. Fourteen articles met the research criteria. The evaluation encompassed 4 themes: 1) Suicide attempts; 2) Thoughts of suicide; 3) Suicide attempts and completed suicide; 4) Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. Most studies focused on the dimensions of attempted suicide. The key finding was that young people in sexual minority groups exhibit more suicidal ideation, more suicide attempts and are more at risk of completed suicide than heterosexual individuals. Family-centered care for young people can therefore be one of the basic principles of nursing practice. Nurses can routinely ask adolescents about their sexual orientation and identity to provide appropriate assessment and care. Additionally, nurses can use educational, counseling, case manager and therapist roles to avoid negative experiences such as homophobia, stigmatization and the discrimination of sexual minorities.HighlightsAlthough the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality as a psychiatric diagnosis in 1973, the psychological problems of this population persist globally.Although sexual minority populations are at serious risk regarding suicidal behavior, there is a little in the way of nursing research on the subject. For this reason, the issue requires further clarity.This systematic review uses a different perspective to scrutinize the level of evidence-based studies of suicide in the sexual minority population.The risks of suicidal behavior in sexual minorities appear to be greater across all dimensions compared to heterosexual individuals. Nurses can engage in many specialized roles and responsibilities to intervene in this population and help reduce the risk of suicide.

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