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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


GARCIA HERRERO, Ana María et al. Neuroticism and suicidal thoughts: a meta-analytic study. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2018, vol.92, e201808049.  Epub Aug 16, 2018. ISSN 2173-9110.


There are conflicting results on the relationship between neuroticism and suicidal ideation in community population. The objectives of this study were to estimate the magnitude and direction of the association between neuroticism and suicide ideation, and to analyze the influence of moderator variables on the effect size.


A systematic review and a meta-analysis were carried out. The search for studies was conducted in PubMed/MEDLINE, IME, Lilacs, CINAHL, and EMBASE, until January 2015. A manual search was also carried out and main researchers were contacted. The inclusion criteria were: (a) studies of the association between neuroticism and suicidal ideation; (b) observational and descriptive studies; (c) studies carried out with community population over 18 years; (d) in any geographic region; and (e) written in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese or Italian. The random-effects model was applied to obtain the mean effect size and to explore moderators.


Thirteen articles focused on the association between neuroticism and suicide ideation were included in the meta-analysis. The mean effect size was r + = 0.446 (IC 95%: 0.266-0.595). Publication bias was discarded as a threat against the validity of the results. A predictive model was stablished with two moderator variables: gender and type of self-report to measure neuroticism.


Neuroticism can be considered as a risk factor for suicide ideation. This result is important to prevent both suicidal ideation and suicide behavior.

Keywords : Neuroticism; Suicide; Suicide ideation; Systematic review; Meta-analysis.

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