Preventing Suicide in Health Systems: How Can Implementation Science Help?

Arch Suicide Res. 2022 Oct 20;1-16. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2022.2131490. Online ahead of print.


Suicide prevention is an emotive, complex goal for clinicians and health systems. Effective interventions for suicidality do exist; however, many patients do not receive them because implementation efforts tend to be time-limited and unsystematic. Implementation science is the study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practices into routine practice. This narrative review introduces implementation science to suicide researchers, with a special focus on healthcare settings. We outline prominent theories, methods, and measures, as well as examples of implementation research from suicidology. By embracing the principles of implementation science, suicidologists can help to close the gap between evidence-based practice and routine practice, thereby improving the delivery and uptake of suicide-related interventions and prevention programs.

Keywords: Clinical; implementation; implementation science; self-harm; suicide.