Characteristics and predictors of suicidality in young people with clinical depression: a systematic review protocol

JBI Evid Synth. 2021 May;19(5):1230-1236. doi: 10.11124/JBIES-20-00170.


Objective: The objective of this review is to examine clinical, psychosocial, and biological factors associated with suicidality in young people diagnosed with depression. This review will describe risk and protective factors, focusing on modifiable attributes, in order to inform suicide prevention and early intervention strategies.

Introduction: Suicide is the world's second-leading cause of death among young people. Depression is closely associated with suicide; however, it lacks specificity as a predictor of suicidal behavior. There is a clear need to improve our understanding of both risk and protective factors associated with the full spectrum of suicidality in young people, across a range of depressive disorders.

Inclusion criteria: Studies that include young people 15 to 25 years of age with a diagnosis of depression made in accordance with a diagnostic classification standard will be considered. Diagnosis must be made using a structured clinical interview or be received through standard clinical practice. Analytical cross-sectional studies, prospective and retrospective cohort studies, and case-control studies will be included. Studies must include an assessment of suicidality made using standardized or non-standardized tools. A broad range of inpatient and outpatient settings will be considered.

Methods: MEDLINE, Embase, and PsycINFO will be searched for studies published in English, with no date limitation. Two independent reviewers will conduct study screening, assess methodological quality, and extract data using standardized tools. If there is sufficient homogeneity across studies, meta-analyses using a random-effects model will be conducted. If quantitative meta-analysis is not possible, a narrative synthesis will be undertaken.

Systematic review registration number: PROSPERO CRD42020151612.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Review Literature as Topic
  • Suicide* / prevention & control
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic