Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Effects of patient suicide on psychiatrists: survey of experiences and support required

  • Rachel Gibbons (a1), Fiona Brand (a2) (a3), Anne Carbonnier (a2), Alison Croft (a2), Karen Lascelles (a2) (a3), Gislene Wolfart (a4) and Keith Hawton (a2) (a3)...
Abstract
Aims and method

Death of patients by suicide can have powerful effects on psychiatrists. We report the findings of a survey completed by 174 psychiatrists on the effects of patient suicide on their emotional well-being and clinical practice, and the support and resources they felt would be helpful.

Results and clinical implications

The death of a patient by suicide usually had a major effect on respondents. Clinical practice was often negatively affected, and over a quarter of respondents considered a change of career path as a result. There were some gender differences in responses, with women reporting more sense of responsibility for the deaths and a greater effect on their clinical confidence. Desired support included a senior suicide lead clinician, support during formal post-suicide processes, opportunity for reflection on practice, information about resources to support families and help communicating with families and friends of the deceased.

Declaration of interest

K.L. is Nurse Consultant for Suicide Prevention at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. K.H. is a member of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England Advisory Group. G.W. offers independent workshops on working with suicidal patients.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Effects of patient suicide on psychiatrists: survey of experiences and support required
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Effects of patient suicide on psychiatrists: survey of experiences and support required
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Effects of patient suicide on psychiatrists: survey of experiences and support required
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
Corresponding author
Correspondence to Dr Rachel Gibbons (rachelgibbons@nhs.net)
References
Hide All
1Séguin, M, Bordeleau, V, Drouin, M, Castelli-Dransart, D, Giasson, F. Professionals’ reactions following a patient's suicide: review and future investigation. Arch Suicide Res 2014; 18: 340–62.
2Alexander, D, Klein, S, Gray N, M, Dewar, I, Eagles, J. Suicide by patients: questionnaire study of its effect on consultant psychiatrists. BMJ 2000; 320: 1571–4.
3Courtenay, K, Stephens, J. The experience of patient suicide among trainees in psychiatry. Psychiatr Bull 2001; 25: 51–2.
4Chemtob, C, Hamada, R, Bauer, G, Kinney, B, Torigoe, R. Patients’ suicides: frequency and impact on psychiatrists. Am J Psychiatry 1988; 145: 224–8.
5Gitlin, M. A psychiatrist's reaction to a patient's suicide. Am J Psychiatry 1999; 156: 1630–4.
6Ruskin, R, Sakinofsky, I, Bagby, R, Dickens, S, Sousa, G. Impact of patient suicide on psychiatrists and psychiatric trainees. Acad Psychiatry 2004; 28: 104–10.
7Campbell, D, Hale, R. Working in the Dark: Understanding the Pre-Suicide State of Mind. Routledge, 2017.
8Dewar, I, Eagles, J, Klein, S, Gray, N, Alexander, D. Psychiatric trainees’ experiences of, and reactions to, patient suicide. Psychiatr Bull 2000; 24: 20–3.
9Wolfart, G. Coping with self-destructive forces. Doctoral dissertation, City University 2011; 84161.
10Brooks, S, Gerada, C, Chalder, T. Review of literature on the mental health of doctors: are specialist services needed? J Men Health 2011; 20: 146–56.
11Large, M, Ryan, C, Carter, G, Kapur, N. Can we usefully stratify patients according to suicide risk? Br Med J 2017; 359: j4627.
12Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership. National Confidential Inquiry into Homicide and Suicide: Report 2018. HQIP, 2018 (https://www.hqip.org.uk/resource/national-confidential-inquiry-suicide-homicide-report-2018).
13Berman, A. Risk factors proximate to suicide and suicide risk assessment in the context of denied suicide ideation. Suicide Life Threat Behav 2018; 48: 340–52.
14Rahman, R, Gupta, S, While, D, Rodway, R, Ibrahim, S, Bickley, H, et al. Quality of Risk Assessment Prior to Suicide and Homicide: A Pilot Study, June 2013. National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, University of Manchester, 2013 (http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=37576).
15Windfuhr, K, Kapur, N. Suicide and mental illness: a clinical review of 15 years findings from the UK National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide. Br Med Bull 2011; 100: 101–21.
16NHS England. Suicide Prevention and Reduction. NHS England, 2018 (https://www.england.nhs.uk/2018/05/suicide-prevention-and-reduction/).
17Karlsson, P, Helgesson, G, Titelman, D, Sjöstrand, M, Juth, N. Skepticism towards the Swedish vision zero for suicide: interviews with 12 psychiatrists. BMC Med Ethics 2018; 19: 26.
18Help is at Hand – Support After Suicide. Public Health England, 2015 (http://supportaftersuicide.org.uk/support-guides/help-is-at-hand/).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 2056-4694
  • EISSN: 2056-4708
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Effects of patient suicide on psychiatrists: survey of experiences and support required

  • Rachel Gibbons (a1), Fiona Brand (a2) (a3), Anne Carbonnier (a2), Alison Croft (a2), Karen Lascelles (a2) (a3), Gislene Wolfart (a4) and Keith Hawton (a2) (a3)...
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *