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Facilitators and barriers to implementation of suicide prevention interventions: Scoping review

Publication at Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts |


We know that suicide is preventable, yet hundreds of thousands of people still die due to suicide every year. Many interventions were proven to be effective, and dozens of others showed promising results.

However, translating these interventions into new settings brings several challenges. One of the crucial obstacles to success is not anticipating possible barriers to implementation nor enhancing possible benefits of factors facilitating the implementation.

While we witnessed great support for suicide prevention activities globally in the past years, implementation barriers and facilitating factors are yet to be comprehensively mapped to help implementation activities worldwide. This scoping review maps current knowledge on facilitators and barriers to the implementation of suicide prevention interventions while using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) for classification.

We included 64 studies. Barriers and facilitators were most commonly identified in the outer setting CFIR domain, namely in the sub-domain of patient needs and resources, which refers to the way in which these needs and resources are reflected by the reviewed interventions.

The second most saturated CFIR domain for facilitators was intervention characteristics, where relative advantage, adaptability and cost of intervention sub-domains were equally represented. These sub-domains refer mostly to how the intervention is perceived by key stakeholders, to what extent it can be tailored to the implementation context and how much it costs.

While intervention characteristics domain was the second most common also for barriers, the complexity sub-domain referring to high perceived difficulty of implementation was the most frequently represented. With reference to the results, we recommend adapting interventions to the needs of the target groups.

Furthermore, carefully selecting the intervention to suit the target context concerning their adaptability, costs and complexity is vital for a successful implementation. Further implications for practice and research are discussed.