Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2007 Sep;53(5):419-29.

Formal and informal help during the year after a suicide attempt: a one-year follow-up.

Author information

Department of Health Sciences, Division of Nursing, University of Lund, Sweden.



The aims of this study are threefold: to investigate formal and informal help with clinical and social needs that patients who attempted suicide received during the year after their attempt; to examine whether help from services was estimated to be adequate; and to look at whether patients who repeated suicide attempt(s) during follow-up differed from those who did not.


The Camberwell Assessment of Need instrument measuring 22 need areas was used in semi-structured interviews with 140 patients at 1 and 12 months after a suicide attempt.


Help given from services was rated as high at both 1 and 12 months in health-related areas, but lower in areas related to social needs. Informal help was initially frequent, with some exceptions. The amount of help from services did not decrease in any need area during follow-up, neither in repeaters nor in non-repeaters. There were no changes in informal help in repeaters, while in non-repeaters informal help decreased in some areas. At both 1 and 12 months, repeaters and non-repeaters mostly found help from services to be adequate. However, in the areas of information, intimate relationships, psychotic symptoms and sexual expression about half of the patients in both groups did not consider that they had received the right type of help.


The generally high level of formal help in health-related areas during the first year after a suicide attempt and the high rated adequacy of help given is satisfactory. However, in certain areas lack of formal help was evident. Informal caregivers contributed significantly to the help that patients received. The use of the Camberwell Assessment of Need instrument could improve observation on needs areas and whether help is available. Perhaps this kind of evaluation could be used earlier than after 1 year in such a vulnerable group as suicide attempters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Support Center