What Are Complex Interventions in Suicide Research? Definitions, Challenges, Opportunities, and the Way Forward

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Krishnamoorthy, Sadhvi
Mathieu, Sharna
Ross, Victoria
Armstrong, Gregory
Kõlves, Kairi
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2022
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https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Abstract

It has been argued that effective action towards addressing a complex concern such as suicide requires a combination of evidence-based strategies. While these complex public health approaches have recently gained importance, little is known about their characteristics and what contributes to their complexity. The use of interchangeable terms such as multilevel, multicomponent, community based, and inconsistent definitions of these approaches creates confusion around what it is and what it is not. In practice, this disorder is reflected in a substantial variation in the design, implementation, and evaluation of complex approaches in suicide research. While it is impossible to resolve all existing inconsistencies in terminology, this review explores a range of terms and definitions to connote complex interventions. It aims to unpack multiple meanings of these terms and their diverse usage in suicide literature. The potential implications of this fluidity and plausible pathways to make sense of this complexity for suicide research are also discussed. With a shared understanding of what constitutes a complex intervention, we can expect to see an improved representation of the real-world complexities in our efforts to address suicide. This common language can also contribute toward quality implementation and dissemination and thereby advance our understanding of complex interventions.

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Psychology
Sociology
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Krishnamoorthy, S; Mathieu, S; Ross, V; Armstrong, G; Kõlves, K, What Are Complex Interventions in Suicide Research? Definitions, Challenges, Opportunities, and the Way Forward, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (14), pp. 8591
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