The aim of this study was to evaluate an education programme on suicide prevention for nurses working in general hospitals. A mixed method design that included a single group pretest-posttest analysis and focus group interviews was used. A convenient sample of 54 registered nurses was recruited from the medical and surgical units of two regional general hospitals. An 18-hour education programme on suicide prevention based on reflective learning principles was provided to the participants. The outcome measures used included participants' attitudes towards, knowledge of, competence in and stress levels arising from suicide prevention and management. Eighteen participants joined the focus group interviews. There were statistically significant positive changes in the pre- and post-test measures of participants' attitudes and competence levels. Qualitative data showed that participants had applied the new knowledge they acquired in clinical practice. They perceived themselves as being more aware of the problem of suicide and more competent in managing suicide risk. Participants highlighted certain barriers that exist to providing optimal care, including inadequate manpower, lack of support from senior staff and a lack of guidelines. Ongoing education may be necessary to expedite changes. The education programme provided can be delivered to other health care professional groups and the results further evaluated.
- General nurses
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