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NursesÂ’ attitudes towards attempted suicide

Backgroung: A number of studies have identified that nurses have negative attitudes towards patients who have attemted suicide, and there is some evidence that these attitudes have a negative impact upon the quality of patients’ care as well as in the prevention of patients’ future attempt to suicide. The aim of the present study was to explore the attitudes of Greek nurses’ working in medical, surgical, orthopedic, A & E and ICU towards attempted suicide. Method and material: A cross-sectional research design was used in a convenience sample of registered and assistant nurses (N=255) working in four general hospitals in Greece. Attitudes Towards Attempted Suicide-Questionnaire (ATAS-Q) was used which was a five point likert type and comprised 8 factors. For the data analysis descriptive and inferential statistics were employed using SPSS version 17. Results: Overall nurses showed relatively negative attitudes towards attempted suicide. Respondents reported a variety of mixed feelings (negative and positive) when caring for attempted suicide patients. However, in factor “positiveness” respondents reported relatively favorable attitudes as well as they didn’t discriminate them from other patients. Younger nurses and those with less working experience expressed more favorable attitudes as well as those who held a specialization in nursing and mostly those held a master degree in nursing. Moreover, nurses working in medical wards held the most favorable attitudes and the least favorable were held by nurses working in ICU’s. In addition, participants who had contemplated suicide at any point in their life or who had a relationship with someone who commited suicide held more positive attitudes. Conclusions: Nurses frequently encounter suicidal individuals and therefore must be aware of their attitudes towards this group of patients as part of their professional and therapeutic role. Thus, a nurse’s positive attitudes towards attempted suicide can play a key role in preventing a future suicide attempt or a fatal suicide.

Author(s): Ouzouni Christina

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