How Can Suicidal Behaviour in the Elderly Be Prevented? A Scoping Review of the Visegrad Group Countries

Miroslava Tokovska, Michal Kozubik, Peter Jusko

Miroslava Tokovska is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Health Studies, VID Specialized University, Sandnes Campus in Norway. She teaches students of social education and specialises in research topics such as the elderly population, suicide, migrants and mental health, on pharmacological treatment of dementia, social work, social support and relatives.

Michal Kozubik works at the Department of Social Work and Social Sciences in Nitra, Slovakia. He specialises mainly in field and community social work in marginalised, extremely poor settlements. His research studies are multidimensional and interdisciplinary, crossing the borders of social work, cultural and social anthropology, and sociology.

Peter Jusko works at the Department of Social Work at the Faculty of Education, Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica. His pedagogical research and publishing activities focus on social policy, social work with selected target groups and prevention of social-pathological phenomena.


OBJECTIVES: The aim was to explore the tools for suicide prevention which are effective and appropriate in the Visegrad Group countries. THEORETICAL BASE: Suicide is a serious public health issue in Central Europe. In this geographical area, suicide prevention in seniors has not yet been given proper research attention. METHODS: A structured literature search was performed to identify the empirical qualitative and quantitative research articles; the search focused on works published between January 2009 and June 2018. This scoping review reports the findings from 19 qualitative and quantitative studies, four reports by the World Health Organisation, four national statistics from the selected countries. OUTCOMES: Four suicide prevention tools were identified: (1) social media; (2) education by care professionals; (3) early intervention and access to services; and (4) reducing stigma related to mental disorders. IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL WORK: The research examined both specific and broader contexts of the national and strategic prevention plans in the Visegrad Group countries and identified major insufficiencies. It is necessary to improve the level ofintegration of basic social work research and gerontosociology with clinical practice as a prerequisite for improving the prevention of suicide in seniors.


elderly, suicide, prevention, intervention, Visegrad Group countries INTRODUCTION



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