OBJECTIVES: This research is aimed to examine the attitude of health-care workers toward suicidal patients in Malaysian hospitals, comparing responses from psychiatric and non-psychiatric workers, and to identify specific needs in suicide prevention and management training.
METHOD: This is a multi-site cross-sectional study. The authors conducted a survey based on a translated self-administered questionnaire to participants from seven core hospital departments.
RESULTS: While most health-care workers regardless of department and specialty took their duty to prevent suicide seriously, a large majority of them expressed negative attitudes such as finding suicidal behavior irritating, and more than half believed suicidal attempts were a way of making others sorry. However, psychiatric workers were less likely to have judgmental attitudes that included believing suicide attempters as being selfish or trying to get sympathy from others.
CONCLUSIONS: As there were more similarities than differences in health-care workers' attitudes toward suicide, recommendations on basic and continuous suicide prevention and management training among hospital workers were made. The interventions focused on improving knowledge, affective, and skill-based areas that were aimed to correct the wrongful understanding of and to minimize the negative attitudes toward suicidal individuals indicated by the study results.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.