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Impact of patient suicide on psychiatric trainees

  • Farida Yousaf (a1), Malcolm Hawthorne (a2) and Philip Sedgwick (a3)
Abstract
Aims and Method

A survey of 89 psychiatric trainees in a regional rotational training scheme was carried out to investigate the impact immediately after a patient's suicide and at the time of the study. Main outcome measures used were the Impact of Events Scale and a rating scale of the impact on personal and professional life.

Results

Twenty-three trainees out of 53 who returned questionnaires reported at least one suicide. Initial reactions included shock, self-blame, guilt, grief and fear of negligence. Impact on personal and professional life was moderately severe. Over half of the trainees were ‘clinically stressed’ in the immediate aftermath, with no statistically significant reduction overtime.

Clinical Implications

The impact of a patient suicide can be profound. It can be experienced as a stressful event but can also lead to positive changes in clinical practice. Greater availability of training and support as well as further research in this area are recommended.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Schneidman, E. S. (1981) The psychological autopsy. Suicide and Life-threatening Behavior, 11, 325340.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Impact of patient suicide on psychiatric trainees

  • Farida Yousaf (a1), Malcolm Hawthorne (a2) and Philip Sedgwick (a3)
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