Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India.
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak, Haryana, India.
College of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India.
Majority of health professionals have unfavorable attitudes toward the patients presenting with self-harm, which further compromises their therapeutic endeavors and outcomes.
This study was aimed to assess the medical students' attitudes toward suicide attempters.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A cross-sectional study was conducted in a tertiary care medical institute of Haryana, a Northern state of India. Two hundred and five final year medical students were recruited through total enumeration method. "Suicide Opinion Questionnaire" was administered to assess their attitudes toward suicide attempters.
Only minority had previous exposure of managing any suicidal patient and attended suicide prevention programs. Majority agreed for suicide attempters being lonely and depressed. Nearly half of the students reported small family, disturbed interpersonal relationship, weak personality, self-punishment approach, cultural inhibitions in emotional expression, national instability, and disbelief in afterlife, as a major push to attempt suicide. Compared to boys, girls reported the greater contribution of weak personality and self-destructive behaviors and lesser contribution of family disturbances and religious convictions as suicide triggers. They held favorable attitude for only one-third of the attitudinal statement, and they were uncertain for two-third of the attitudinal statements.
Such a high proportion of uncertain responses imply toward lack of awareness and clinical expertise for managing suicide attempters. It also signifies the urgent need for enhancing their educational and clinical exposure, to improve their attitudes toward patients presenting with self-harm.