Quality Assessment of Economic Evaluations of Suicide and Self-Harm Interventions: A Systematic Review
Background: Death following self-harm constitutes a major global public health challenge and there is an urgent need for governments to implement cost-effective, national suicide prevention strategies. Aim: To conduct a systematic review and quality appraisal of the economic evaluations of interventions aimed at preventing suicidal behavior. Method: A systematic literature search was performed in several literature databases to identify relevant articles published from 2003 to 2016. Drummond's 10-item appraisal tool was used to assess the methodological quality of the included studies. Results: In total, 25 documents encompassing 30 economic evaluations were included in the review. Of the identified evaluations, 10 studies were found to be of poor quality, 14 were of average quality, and six studies were considered of good quality. The majority of evaluations found the interventions to be cost-effective. Limitations: Several limitations were identified and discussed in the article. Conclusion: A notable few economic evaluations were identified. The studies were diverse, primarily set in high-income countries, and often based on modeling, emphasizing the need for more primary research into the topic. The discussion of suicide and self-harm prevention should be as nuanced as possible, including health economics along with cultural, social, and political aspects.