Suicidal thoughts and behaviors and social isolation: A narrative review of the literature

Raffaella Calati, Chiara Ferrari*, Marie Brittner, Osmano Oasi*, Emilie Olié, André F. Carvalho, Philippe Courtet

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

88 Citazioni (Scopus)


Background: Social isolation is one of the main risk factors associated with suicidal outcomes. The aim of this narrative review was to provide an overview on the link between social isolation and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Methods: We used the PubMed database to identify relevant articles published until April 13, 2018. We focused on: (a) systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and narrative reviews; (b) original observational studies with large samples (N ≥ 500); and (c) qualitative studies. We included all relevant suicidal outcomes: suicidal ideation (SI), suicidal planning, non-suicidal self-injury, deliberate self-harm, suicide attempt (SA), and suicide. Results: The main social constructs associated with suicidal outcomes were marital status (being single, sepa- rated, divorced, or widowed) and living alone, social isolation, loneliness, alienation, and belongingness. We included 40 original observational studies, the majority of them performed on adolescents and/or young adults (k = 23, 57.5%). Both the objective condition (e.g., living alone) and the subjective feeling of being alone (i.e., loneliness) were strongly associated with suicidal outcomes, in particular with SA and SI. However, loneliness, which was investigated in most studies (k = 24, 60%), had a major impact on both SI and SA. These associations were transculturally consistent. Limitations: Confounding factors can limit the weight of the results obtained in observational studies. Conclusions: Data from the observational studies suggest that both objective social isolation and the subjective feeling of loneliness should be incorporated in the risk assessment of suicide. Interventional studies targeting social isolation for suicide prevention are needed.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)653-667
Numero di pagine15
RivistaJournal of Affective Disorders
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019


  • Social Isolation Loneliness Living Alone Suicide Review


Entra nei temi di ricerca di 'Suicidal thoughts and behaviors and social isolation: A narrative review of the literature'. Insieme formano una fingerprint unica.

Cita questo