Differences in the Effectiveness of Psychosocial Interventions for Suicidal Ideation and Behaviour in Women and Men: A Systematic Review of Randomised Controlled Trials

Arch Suicide Res. 2017 Jan 2;21(1):12-32. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2016.1162246. Epub 2016 Mar 16.


The objective of this study was to explore outcomes of preventive programs and psychosocial treatments for suicidal ideation and behaviour in gender sub-groups in mixed gender studies and in studies limited to one gender. The method used was a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) which included women or men only, or reported and/or examined outcomes of psychosocial interventions in mixed gender samples. A total of 27 (18%) of RCTs reported or examined differences in intervention outcomes. Of the mixed gender RCTs, 5 (33%) reported greater effectiveness for females than males. The review identified promising interventions in female-only samples. None of the trials reported greater effectiveness of the intervention in men. The majority of reviewed studies looking at treatment outcomes in gender sub-groups showed no differences between women and men or indicated that some psychosocial interventions are effective for women. There is a need for studies which look at gender effects and development of interventions more effective and appealing for men at risk of suicide.

Keywords: gender; psychotherapy; self-harm; suicidal behaviour; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Case Management*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Community Mental Health Services*
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sex Factors
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Suicide Prevention*
  • Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome