Citation Gilmour L, Duncan E & Maxwell M (2018) Policy addressing suicidality in children and young people: a scoping review protocol. BMJ Open, 8 (9), Art. No.: e023153. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023153
Abstract Introduction Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among children and young people globally and a major public health issue. Government policies determine how much recognised health issues are prioritised and set the context for investment, development and delivery of services. A review of policies concerning children and young people who are suicidal could shed light on the extent that this public health issue is prioritised and highlight examples of best practice in this area. There has never been a review to explore how policy worldwide addresses the specific needs of this vulnerable population. This review will map the key policy documents and identify their relevance to the review question: how does policy address the treatment and care of children and young people who experience suicidality? (international, national (UK) and local (Scotland)).
Methodology Employing scoping review methodological guidance a systematic and transparent approach will be taken. Preliminary searches will facilitate the identification of MeSh terms, subject headings, individual database and platform nuances. A full search strategy will be created to search five databases: CINAHL, PsychInfo, Medline, Web of Science and Cochrane. Government and other key agency websites (eg, WHO, Unicef) will be searched to identify policy documents. The reference lists of identified documents will be checked. A second reviewer will independently screen and cross validate eligible studies for final inclusion. A data extraction template will then be used to extract key information. We will report our findings using narrative synthesis and tabulate findings, by agreed key components.
Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval is not required to conduct a scoping review. We will disseminate the findings through a peer-reviewed publication and conference presentation.