The failure of suicide prevention in primary care: family and GP perspectives - a qualitative study

Gerry Leavey, Sharon Mallon, Janeét Rondon-Sulbaran, Karen Galway, Michael Rosato, Lynette Hughes

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Abstract

Background: although Primary Care is crucial for suicide prevention, clinicians tend to report completed suicides in their care as non-preventable.
Aims: to examine systemic inadequacies in suicide prevention from the perspectives of bereaved family members and GPs.
Design: Qualitative study of 72 relatives or close friends bereaved by suicide and 19 General practitioners who have experienced the suicide of patients.
Findings: relatives highlight failures in detecting symptoms and behavioural changes and int he inability of GPs to understand the needs of patients and their social contexts. A perceived over-reliance of anti-depressant treatment is a major source of criticism by family members. GPs tend to lack confidence in the recognition and management of suicidal patients and report structural inadequacies of service provision.
Conclusions: Mental health and primary care services must find innovative and ethical ways to involve families in the decision-making process for patients at risk of suicide.
Original languageEnglish
Article number369
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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