INTRODUCTION: Schools have an important role in recognising and preventing self-harm and suicidal behaviour in their students, however little is known about which educational factors are associated with heightened risk. We will systematically review the existing evidence on two key educational performance indicators that are routinely collected by school administrative systems: school attendance and exclusion. We will investigate their association with self-harm and suicidal behaviour in school-age children and adolescents. Knowledge of this association could help inform suicide prevention strategies at clinical, school and population levels.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will conduct a systematic search of Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO, British Education Index and Education Resources Information Centre (ERIC) from 1 January 1990, and conduct a manual search for additional references. We aim to identify studies that explore the association between poor school attendance or exclusion and self-harm or suicidal behaviours in school-age children and adolescents. Two independent reviewers will screen titles, abstracts and full-text documents and independently extract relevant data for analysis. Study quality will be assessed using a modified Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. A descriptive analysis will be performed, and where appropriate, results will be combined in meta-analyses.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This is a systematic review of published literature, and therefore ethical approval will not be sought. We will publish reports in health and education journals, present our work at conferences focused on school mental health and communicate our findings to practitioners and managers in public health, education and child mental health.
PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42018088608.
- School mental health
- Systematic review protocol