Suicide in hospitalized medical-surgical patients

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Internationally, suicide represents a major health issue. Inpatient suicide is the second most common sentinel event reported to The Joint Commission, which has identified suicide prevention as a National Patient Safety Goal. Suicide prevention is influenced by nurses' ability to accurately assess a patient's suicide risk. Evidence suggests that lack of knowledge and unfavorable attitudes toward suicide negatively impact health care delivery and patient safety. The purpose of this descriptive replication study was to investigate nurses' attitudes toward suicide in hospitalized medical-surgical patients to gain a better understanding of factors influencing the identification and management of suicide risk and ultimately improve patient safety. Using a convenience sample of 45 nurses, this study found that nurses' age and educational level correlated with positive attitudes toward suicide (p = 0.03) and that religion was also a significant predictor of positive attitudes toward suicide. Implications of this study are the need for further education on suicide prevention, including opportunities for nurses to explore the impact of their attitudes on accurate suicide risk assessment. © SLACK Incorporated.

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Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services

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