Encountering Patient Suicide: The Role of Survivors

ArticleinAcademic Psychiatry 31(5):333-5 · October 2007with2 Reads
DOI: 10.1176/appi.ap.31.5.333 · Source: PubMed
    • "The few studies published suggest that it is quite common for residents to encounter patient suicide during their training and that they undergo significant levels of psychological stress [14] . Sudak suggested that the feelings experienced by residents and clinicians following the suicide by patient are quantitatively smaller than in the case of suicide by a family member but are similar to them qualitatively [15]. Despite some difficulties in comparison arising from the use of different methods and other factors, similar IES-R scores have been reported for significantly disastrous events. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nurses working in psychiatric hospitals and wards are prone to encounter completed suicides. The research was conducted to examine post-suicide stress in nurses and the availability of suicide-related mental health care services and education. Experiences with inpatient suicide were investigated using an anonymous, self-reported questionnaire, which was, along with the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, administered to 531 psychiatric nurses. The rate of nurses who had encountered patient suicide was 55.0%. The mean Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) score was 11.4. The proportion of respondents at a high risk (≥ 25 on the 88-point IES-R score) for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was 13.7%. However, only 15.8% of respondents indicated that they had access to post-suicide mental health care programmes. The survey also revealed a low rate of nurses who reported attending in-hospital seminars on suicide prevention or mental health care for nurses (26.4% and 12.8%, respectively). These results indicated that nurses exposed to inpatient suicide suffer significant mental distress. However, the low availability of systematic post-suicide mental health care programmes for such nurses and the lack of suicide-related education initiatives and mental health care for nurses are problematic. The situation is likely related to the fact that there are no formal systems in place for identifying and evaluating the psychological effects of patient suicide in nurses and to the pressures stemming from the public perception of nurses as suppliers rather than recipients of health care.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011
  • Full-text · Article · Oct 2007
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because of the clinical significance of patient suicide for trainees and current limited information on this essential educational subject, the authors sought to determine what topics involving the care of suicidal patients were taught to residents in psychiatry training programs. Chief residents of psychiatry training programs across the United States (response rate 59%) anonymously completed questions on what and how the care of suicidal patients was taught. Topics that required more attention and barriers to teaching were also identified. A vast majority of the national programs (91%) offered formal teaching on suicide care; grand rounds (85%) and case conferences (80%) were also popular methods for teaching. Even the topics most commonly taught, such as risk factors, recognizing early warning signs, and standards of clinical care, were judged to warrant more attention by many residents. Commonly identified barriers to teaching included the lack of audio or video teaching materials and relevant texts. Only 19% of chief residents reported that they felt prepared for the possibility of having to manage the aftermath of a patient suicide. The chief residents identified a need for programs to focus even more attention on teaching of the care of suicidal patients in training programs.
    Article · Jan 2009
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