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Published online: 2024-04-25
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Relationship between autism spectrum disorder and suicide: a narrative review

Laura Erdt1, Monika Nowak2, Wiktoria Lewicka2, Tomasz Dudzik2, Hanna Samek2, Zuzanna Łabeńska2, Marta Grelowska2, Patryk Piotrowski3

Abstract

Introduction: Suicide is a complex issue that must be considered within an interdisciplinary context, regarding the role of sociocultural factors such as support, values, beliefs, economic status, upbringing, and stigma. The objective of this article is to review and raise awareness of current evidence-based data regarding suicidality among people with ASD,  by analyzing the latest academic papers. It is noted that people with ASD are at an elevated risk of suicidal behavior. Material and methods: The search for relevant materials was conducted using PubMed, Medline and Embase. Articles were chosen according to their significance, with a focus on the risk factors and management of suicidality among people with Autism Spectrum Disorder Results: The article identified risk factors of suicide behaviors among people with ASD such as co-occurring mental health conditions, difficulty in expressing emotions, social isolation, bullying and victimization, lack of access to mental health care and difficulty in adapting to change. To prevent suicide in individuals with ASD, it is essential to identify and address these risk factors and provide appropriate support and interventions. Conclusions: The review of published literature provides insights on manifestations of ASD and the common features associated with the disorder. Evidence-based treatments and interventions for ASD are evolving over time, and there is a great demand for randomized controlled trials to investigate their effectiveness. Clinicians' knowledge and attitudes play a crucial role in suicide prevention for individuals with ASD, and there is a need for reliable, adapted risk assessment tools.

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