Employment and suicidal rates during economic recession: A country-targeted integrative review

Academic Article


  • Background: The economic crisis’ effects on suicide rates for countries undergoing or exiting austerity measures have been widely debated. This integrative review aimed to identify, appraise, and synthesize available evidence of employment status effect on suicide mortality rates in Greece during the recent economic recession period. Methods: A literature review of studies evaluating suicides in the general Greek population, as well as across age and gender groups, in relation to employment during the economic crisis period was performed. PubMed electronic database was searched for relevant articles published in English or Greek language from 2009 up to February 2020. Appraisal was carried out based on the Hierarchy of Evidence Rating System and the GRADE guidelines. Results: A total of 24 articles met all inclusion criteria with 20 of them at level IV, 2 at level VII, and 2 at level VIII. A total of 18 studies reported increase of suicide rates during the economic recession period. About 12 studies examined the co-relation between unemployment and suicide rate, with ten studies showing a positive correlation. Moreover, thirteen studies reported data on the effect of gender and age variables on suicide rates. Conclusion: Evidence shows that suicide mortality rates in Greece increased after the eruption of economic recession, particularly after the implementation of radical austerity measures (2011–2014). This increase was positively correlated with unemployment and was more prominent among males of working age. Further in depth epidemiological research of regional variations in terms of profile and contributing or enabling factors of suicidal behavior is needed.
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    Author List

  • Kamekis A; Rachiotis G; Markaki A; Samara V; Symvoulakis EK