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Nurse Educ Today. 2014 Nov;34(11):1388-94. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2014.03.015. Epub 2014 Apr 2.

Effectiveness of interactive discussion group in suicide risk assessment among general nurses in Taiwan: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taiwan. Electronic address:
  • 2Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taiwan.
  • 3Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taiwan; Department of Nursing, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taiwan.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taitung Branch, Taiwan.
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taiwan.
  • 6Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taiwan; National Suicide Prevention Centre, Taiwan.


The evidence of suicide prevention training for nurses is scarce. Strategies to enhance general nurses' ability in suicide risk assessment are critical to develop effective training programs in general medical settings. This study was aimed to examine the effectiveness of an interactive discussion group in a suicide prevention training program for general nurses. In this randomized study with two groups of pre-post study design, the sample was recruited from the Medical, Surgical, and Emergency/Intensive Care Sectors of a 2000-bed general hospital via stratified randomization. Among the 111 nurses, 57 participants randomly assigned to the control group received a two-hour baseline suicide gatekeeper lecture, and 54 participants assigning to the experimental group received an additional five-hour group discussion about suicide risk assessment skills. Using a case vignette, the nurses discussed and assessed suicide risk factors specified in a 10-item Chinese SAD PERSONS Scale during a group discussion intervention. The findings revealed that the nurses achieved significant and consistent improvements of risk identification and assessment after the intervention without influencing their mental health status for assessing suicide risks. The result suggested an effective approach of interactive group discussion for facilitating critical thinking and learning suicide risk assessment skills among general nurses.


Critical thinking; Interactive discussion group; Randomized controlled trial; Suicide prevention training

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