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Acad Psychiatry. 2012 Jan 1;36(1):29-33. doi: 10.1176/appi.ap.10010006.

Coping with a patient's suicide: a curriculum for psychiatry residency training programs.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The suicide of a patient is often experienced as a traumatic event by the clinician involved. Many articles have identified the need for education to guide clinicians through the aftermath of patient suicide; however, little has been published on development of such a curriculum, particularly for residents. This article describes one residency training program's development of an organized curriculum on coping with patient suicide and evaluates the impact of a core aspect of the training on clinicians' knowledge about and confidence with coping with patient suicide.

METHODS:

The training includes a biennial half-day workshop for all trainees plus an "as-needed curriculum" used after a completed suicide. A total of 42 clinicians (39 psychiatry residents and 3 psychiatry faculty) participated in a workshop on coping with patient suicide. Their attitudes and knowledge about the topic were assessed before and after the training.

RESULTS:

Participation in the workshop was associated with large and statistically significant increases in knowledge and self-perceptions of competence in coping with patient suicide.

CONCLUSIONS:

The addition of a curriculum on coping with patient suicide has the potential to significantly enhance psychiatric residency training.

PMID:
22362433
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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