Suicide stigma measures: A scoping review

Angela Nicholas, Tilahun Haregu, Claire Henderson, Gregory Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


Worldwide, approximately 800,000 people die by suicide every year, and non-fatal suicidal thoughts and behaviours are common. Stigma is likely a major barrier to preventing suicide. The purpose of our review is to scope the development, psychometric properties and use of measures that explicitly seek to measure the construct of suicide stigma.

We conducted a scoping review. We searched PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase and CINAHL using search terms related to suicide, stigma and measures/scales with no date limits. We included any measure the authors defined as measuring suicide-related stigma. Only peer-reviewed articles published in English were included.

We included 106 papers discussing 23 measures of suicide stigma; 82 provided data on psychometric properties. Measures assessed personal or public stigma; and stigma toward a range of suicidal phenomena (e.g., suicidal thoughts, those bereaved by suicide). ‘Stigma’ definitions varied and were not always provided. The Grief Experience Questionnaire, Suicide Opinion Questionnaire and Stigma of Suicide Scale were the most commonly cited. Measures varied in the strength of their psychometric properties.

We only included papers in English. Because we included any measures authors defined as measuring suicide stigma, we may have included measures not commonly considered as measures of suicide stigma, and conversely we might have excluded relevant measures because they did not use the term ‘stigma’.

This review aimed to assist in better understanding available suicide stigma measures, their strengths and weaknesses and current uses, and will inform the development of future suicide stigma measures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-125
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Early online date28 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2023


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