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The borderline between life and death: Mental healthcare professionals' experience of why patients commit suicide during ongoing care
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Ryhov County Council, Jönköping, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division of Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2340-1451
2019 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 28, no 9-10, p. 1623-1632Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To explore mental health professionals' experiences in regard to circumstances that cause the patient to take their own life during ongoing care.

BACKGROUND: Suicide is a worldwide health problem, and of those who take their own life, nearly 20% have had contact with a psychiatric unit. Mental health professionals may have extended intuitive knowledge that has not been made visible. Mental health professionals' experiences can contribute knowledge that can complement suicide risk assessments and can be helpful in developing approaches and strategies where the hope is to identify and draw attention to people at risk of taking their own life.

DESIGN: A reflective lifeworld research.

METHODS: Twelve interviews with mental health professionals with experience of working in caring relationships with patients that had taken their life during the period of care. The study was performed in accordance with COREQ (see Supporting Information Data S1).

RESULTS: Mental health professionals' experiences regarding circumstances that cause the patient to take their own life are related to the patient's life circumstances that led to a loss of dignity, and finally beyond retrieval. Mental health professionals share patients' struggle to choose between life and death, the darkness of their life and their hopeless situation. This shared experience also makes the mental health professionals wish to relieve patient's suffering but also gives them an understanding of why patients take their own life.

CONCLUSIONS: The mental health professionals experience how the patient loses the possibility of living a worthwhile life, recognise darkness within the patient and see how the patient's life is fragile. Suicide described as logical and expected, based on their life and life circumstances, has not been found in previous research. Bearing this in mind, should psychiatric care focus on a proactive approach and act when these circumstances are identified?

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The Mental health professionals' tacit knowledge may be used to strengthen uncertain suicide assessments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2019. Vol. 28, no 9-10, p. 1623-1632
Keywords [en]
experiences, nursing, phenomenology, qualitative interviews, suicide
National Category
Clinical Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-154918DOI: 10.1111/jocn.14754ISI: 000468589500024PubMedID: 30589485OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-154918DiVA, id: diva2:1293777
Note

Funding agencies: Futurum - the academy for health and care; Department of Psychiatry, Jonkoping, Ryhov County Council; Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden

Available from: 2019-03-05 Created: 2019-03-05 Last updated: 2019-08-20

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The full text will be freely available from 2019-12-27 08:59
Available from 2019-12-27 08:59

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Hultsjö, SallyWärdig, RikardRytterström, Patrik

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