Crisis: the Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention vol:35 issue:5 pages:338-48
Background: Since the seminal publications of Shneidman (1969) and Cain (1972), suicide bereavement and postvention have attracted increasing research interest. Aims: To examine the topics of suicide bereavement and postvention in the core international suicidology journals, since their inception until mid-2013, in order to reveal the number of postvention articles throughout the years, their geographic distribution, and the topics of suicide bereavement and postvention that have been published. Method: The online databases of four journals (Crisis, The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention; Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior [SLTB]; Archives of Suicide Research; and Suicidology Online) as well as the tables of content of all issues were searched. The number of articles and the countries of origin were quantified, and articles were categorized according to their content. Results: The search identified 144 postvention articles, published during the past 40 years, almost exclusively in two journals (Crisis and SLTB). The majority of articles were (co-)authored by authors from Anglo-Saxon, Western countries. Articles were categorized in three groups: characteristics of suicide bereavement (n = 73), postvention programs (n = 66), and definition/theory and epidemiology of survivors (n = 5). Conclusion: Articles on suicide bereavement and postvention have been published mostly in two suicidology journals, albeit in modest numbers, and from a limited number of mostly Western countries. Our understanding of suicide bereavement and the provision of survivor support might benefit from the development of consensual definitions and from studies in other parts of the world.