Attitude towards suicide among junior residents- A cross-sectional study
Keywords:attitude, suicide, junior resident, cross-sectional study
Background: Suicide as a public health problem is gaining importance due to the COVID pandemic. After a suicide attempt, a patient is examined at emergency services by duty doctor. After that, a right attitude is essential to prepare the patient for psychiatry referral or give mental health intervention by themselves. Suicide among doctors is also relatively high. Faulty attitude could prevent them from seeking help when faced with a suicide risk situation. Junior residents (JRs) are the first point of contact with patients in medical colleges. Their attitude to suicide is not studied in Kerala, where the suicide rate is high. Therefore, we decided to study the attitude towards suicide among junior residents. Methods: Attitude to suicide among 2nd and 3rd year JRs was assessed by Eskin's Attitude towards Suicide questionnaire, and comparisons were done by Mann Whitney and Kruskal Wallis tests. Results: Suicide was less acceptable for the residents (88%), and they were more favouring to ‘communicating their problems' (89%). Suicide as a sign of mental illness was not considered by 49%, and 17% were uncertain. Females favoured open discussion of suicide (p=0.038). Those of Muslim religious affiliation had a restrictive attitude to suicide (p=0.001) and believed in punishment after suicide (p=0.001). No difference in attitude was observed between the year of study and between clinical and nonclinical specialities. Conclusion: Professional experience that the study population has had, has not influenced their attitudes in desirable ways. Therefore, training in suicide prevention needs to be imparted to all JRs because they function as gatekeepers towards suicide prevention.
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