Prevalence and impact of patient suicide in psychiatrists: Results from a national French web-based survey - Neuropsychiatrie- Recherche épidémiologique et clinique (U1061) Access content directly
Journal Articles L'Encéphale Year : 2021

Prevalence and impact of patient suicide in psychiatrists: Results from a national French web-based survey

Abstract

Background: Patient suicide (PS) is known to be a frequent and challenging occupational hazard for mental health professionals. No study previously explored the prevalence and impact of PS in a large sample of French psychiatrists.Method: A national web-based survey was performed between September and December 2019 to assess (a) the prevalence of the exposure to PS, (b) the emotional, traumatic and professional impacts of PS, and (c) the perceived support in the aftermath of PS in French psychiatrists. Participants were contacted through email to answer the online 62-item questionnaire, including a measure of traumatic impact through the Impact of Event Scale-Revised. Emotional and professional impacts and perceived support were assessed through dedicated items.Results: A total of 764 psychiatrists fully completed the survey. Of them, 87.3% reported an exposure to PS and 13.7% reported PTSD symptoms afterward. Guilt, sadness and shock were the most frequent emotions. Among the exposed psychiatrists, 15.1% have temporarily considered changing their career path. The most emotionally distressing PS occurred during their ten first years of practice or during residency. A total of 37.1% of respondents felt unsupported and 50.4% reported that no team meeting had been organized in the aftermath. The feeling of responsibility for the death was strongly associated with negative impacts.Conclusion: Our results entail considerations to prevent negative mental health outcomes in psychiatrists after PS. Notably, our results advocate for the implementation of educational programs during psychiatric residency and postvention programs in healthcare settings to effectively help psychiatrists in dealing with PS.
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Dates and versions

hal-03660637 , version 1 (05-01-2024)

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Attribution - NonCommercial

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Edouard Leaune, R. Allali, Jean-Yves Rotgé, Louis Simon, Maxime Vieux, et al.. Prevalence and impact of patient suicide in psychiatrists: Results from a national French web-based survey. L'Encéphale, 2021, 47 (6), pp.507-513. ⟨10.1016/j.encep.2020.11.011⟩. ⟨hal-03660637⟩
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