Suicidal ideation and attempts in brain tumor patients and survivors: A systematic review

Mohammad Mofatteh, Mohammad Sadegh Mashayekhi, Saman Arfaie, Yimin Chen, Armaan K. Malhotra, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Nicholas Sader, Violet Antonick, Mostafa Fatehi Hassanabad, Alireza Mansouri, Sunit Das, Xuxing Liao, Roger S. McIntyre, Rolando Del Maestro, Gustavo Turecki, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, Gelareh Zadeh, Keyoumars Ashkan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Subsequent to a diagnosis of a brain tumor, psychological distress has been associated with negative effects on mental health as well as suicidality. The magnitude of such impact has been understudied in the literature. We conducted a systematic review to examine the impact of a brain tumor on suicidality (both ideation and attempts). Methods: In accordance with the PRISMA guidelines, we searched for relevant peer-reviewed journal articles on PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases from inception to October 20, 2022. Studies investigating suicide ideation and/or attempt among patients with brain tumors were included. Results: Our search yielded 1,998 articles which were screened for eligibility. Seven studies consisting of 204,260 patients were included in the final review. Four studies comprising 203,906 patients (99.8%) reported elevated suicidal ideation and suicide attempt incidence compared with the general population. Prevalence of ideation and attempts ranged from 6.0% to 21.5% and 0.03% to 3.33%, respectively. Anxiety, depression, pain severity, physical impairment, glioblastoma diagnosis, male sex, and older age emerged as the primary risk factors associated with increased risk of suicidal ideation and attempts. Conclusion: Suicidal ideation and attempts are increased in patients and survivors of brain tumors compared to the general population. Early identification of patients exhibiting these behaviors is crucial for providing timely psychiatric support in neuro-oncological settings to mitigate potential harm. Future research is required to understand pharmacological, neurobiological, and psychiatric mechanisms that predispose brain tumor patients to suicidality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbervdad058
JournalNeuro-Oncology Advances
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology

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