NATURE OF THE LAST CONTACT WITH A MEDICAL DOCTOR BEFORE SUICIDE Print

Urša Mars Bitenc, Lara Pirc, Petra Mesec Rodi, Vita Poštuvan, Diego De Leo

Abstract

A relevant number of suicide decedents visit medical doctors (MDs) in a short period before death. This study aimed to learn about MDs’ attitudes towards suicide prevention, their previous education on suicide, the experience with suicide, and eventually the nature of the last visit with a patient that died by suicide. 159 Slovenian MDs participated in an online survey covering previously mentioned topics. More than a third of MDs have never been trained on suicide prevention and reported lack of knowledge in this area. More than half experienced suicide of a patient or close one. During the last contact before suicide, MDs frequently noticed symptoms of mental health problems, hopelessness, sleep problems, somatic pain and suicidal ideation. More seldom they observed stocking pills, giving away values, gaining access to firearms, and changing a will. At the time of the last visit, main diagnoses were depression (54.5%), schizophrenia (22.7%), bipolar disorder (12.5%), alcohol use disorder (9.6%), and dementia (4.5%). To improve risk assessment and suicide prevention in health-care settings, a specific training would be a highly desirable option for educating MD's. 

Keywords: suicide prevention; professional training; medical doctors; last contact

 

[1] Asst. Urša Mars Bitenc, BSc psychology is a Ph.D student at the University of Ljubljana and a research assistant at the University of Primorska, Andrej Marušič Institute, Slovene Centre for Suicide Research and Faculty of Mathematics Natural Sciences and Information Technologies, Department of Psychology, Koper, Slovenia. E-mail ursa.mars(at)upr.si (corresponding author)

[2] Lara Pirc, MSc (The Kingdom of the Netherlands) is a psychologist at The Counselling Centre for Children, Adolescents and Parents Ljubljana, Slovenia

[3] MD Petra Mesec Rodi is a medical doctor at Škofja Loka Health Centre, Slovenia

[4] PhD Vita Poštuvan is deputy head of Slovene Centre for Suicide Research at Andrej Marušič Institute, and deputy head of Department of Psychology at Faculty of Mathematics Natural Sciences and Information Technologies, University of Primorska Koper, Slovenia

[5] PhD, MD Diego De Leo is head of Slovene Centre for Suicide Research, Andrej Marušič Institute, and head of Department of Psychology at Faculty of Mathematics Natural Sciences and Information Technologies, University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia

Cite this article:
Urša Mars Bitenc, Lara Pirc, Petra Mesec Rodi, Vita Poštuvan, Diego De Leo. NATURE OF LAST CONTACT WITH A MEDICAL DOCTOR BEFORE SUICIDE. Innovative Issues and Approaches in Social Sciences, vol.10, no.1:21-41, DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.12959/issn.1855-0541.IIASS-2018-no1-art2

Digital Object Identifier(DOI): http://dx.doi.org/10.12959/issn.1855-0541.IIASS-2018-no1-art2

View full text in pdf: http://www.iiass.com/pdf/IIASS-2018-no1-art2.pdf

 

 

 

 

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