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Suicide and suicide prevention. Could the physician do more? Results of a questionnaire of relatives of suicide attempters and suicide victims

Suicide and suicide prevention. Could the physician do more? Results of a questionnaire of relatives of suicide attempters and suicide victims

Schweizerische Medizinische Wochenschrift 116(23): 770-774

Relatives of 50 attempted and 50 successful suicides were interviewed with a semi-structured set of questions. This report presents the results of the questions which related to the role of the physician and his reaction to the event, and to the reaction of the relatives. 80% of all cases were seeing a doctor, and the physicians concerned reported that they were very surprised by the suicide attempts and suicides in 36% and 48% of cases respectively. Many patients had a history of suicide attempts and/or threats; earlier suicide attempts were not known to the physicians in 67% (attempted suicide) and 38% (successful suicide), and threats in 73% and 50% respectively. The author had the impression that the diagnosis of depressive illness and the indication for treatment with antidepressive medication was often missed. The practical implications of these results are discussed.

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Accession: 041486076

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PMID: 3726508

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