The effectiveness of structural interventions at suicide hotspots: a meta-analysis

Int J Epidemiol. 2013 Apr;42(2):541-8. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyt021. Epub 2013 Mar 15.


Background: Certain sites have gained notoriety as 'hotspots' for suicide by jumping. Structural interventions (e.g. barriers and safety nets) have been installed at some of these sites. Individual studies examining the effectiveness of these interventions have been underpowered.

Method: We conducted a meta-analysis, pooling data from nine studies.

Results: Following the interventions, there was an 86% reduction in jumping suicides per year at the sites in question (95% CI 79% to 91%). There was a 44% increase in jumping suicides per year at nearby sites (95% CI 15% to 81%), but the net gain was a 28% reduction in all jumping suicides per year in the study cities (95% CI 13% to 40%).

Conclusions: Structural interventions at 'hotspots' avert suicide at these sites. Some increases in suicide are evident at neighbouring sites, but there is an overall gain in terms of a reduction in all suicides by jumping.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Architectural Accessibility*
  • Environment Design*
  • Humans
  • Safety*
  • Suicide / prevention & control*