Short-term effects of a suicide education intervention for family caregivers of people who are suicidal

Authors

  • Fan-Ko Sun PhD, RN,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nursing, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
    • Correspondence: Fan-Ko Sun, Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, I-Shou University, No.8, Yida Rd., Jiaosu Village, Yanchao District, Kaohsiung City 82445, Taiwan. Telephone: +886 7-6151100 ext. 7731.

      E-mail: sunfanko@hotmail.com

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  • Chun-Ying Chiang PhD, RN,

    Assistant Professor
    1. Department of Nursing, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
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  • Yu-Hua Lin PhD, RN,

    Associate Professor
    1. Department of Nursing, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
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  • Tai-Been Chen PhD

    Associate Professor
    1. Department of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
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Abstract

Aims and objectives

To evaluate the short-term effects of a suicide care educational intervention on the family's ability to care, family's caring stress levels and family's attitudes towards attempted suicide.

Background

Research has demonstrated that suicide prevention educational programmes are provided mostly for professional staff and not for the family caregivers of people who are suicidal.

Design

A experimental design, using two groups and a pre- and postintervention survey method, was used.

Methods

A randomised controlled study was conducted with 74 family caregivers of people who are suicidal (37 using suicide education and 37 in the control group). The experimental group was provided with a two-hour suicide care education intervention, and the control group received normal suicide care support. Participants were recruited at a Suicide Prevention Centre and two acute psychiatric hospitals between October 2009–December 2010. Three questionnaires were collected: (1) the Suicidal Caring Ability Scale (2) the Caring Stress Scale and (3) the Suicide Attitudes Scale. Descriptive statistics, independent t-tests or Mann–Whitney U-tests were used to analyse the data.

Results

The results demonstrated that there were statistically significant differences in the Suicidal Caring Ability Scale and the Suicide Attitudes Scale but no statistically significant differences in the Caring Stress Scale. That is, the suicide education programme can promote the ability to care for people who are suicidal and can generate a positive attitude towards people who are suicidal from their caregivers.

Conclusions

Family caregivers of suicidal individuals who attended the psycho-education programme had an increased caring ability and positive attitudes for their suicidal relatives.

Relevance to clinical practice

Nurses could use the two-hour personal suicidal education programme to increase one's ability to care for their relatives who had attempted suicide and promote one's positive attitudes towards attempted suicide.

Ancillary