Foggin, E, McDonnell, S, Cordingley, L, Kapur, N, Shaw, J and Chew-Graham, CA (2016) GPs' experiences of dealing with parents bereaved by suicide: a qualitative study. British Journal of General Practice, 66 (651). e737 - e746. ISSN 1478-5242

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BACKGROUND: Suicide prevention is an NHS priority in England. Bereavement by suicide is a risk factor for suicide, but the needs of those bereaved by suicide have not been addressed, and little is known about how GPs support these patients, and how they deal with this aspect of their work. AIM: This study explores the experiences of GPs dealing with parents bereaved by suicide. DESIGN AND SETTING: Qualitative study using interviews with 13 GPs in the UK. METHOD: Parents, whose adult offspring had died by suicide between 2002 and 2012, were recruited and gave the name of their GP to be invited for interview. Semi-structured interviews were conducted. The topic guide explored experiences of dealing with suicide and bereavement. Data were analysed thematically using constant comparison techniques. RESULTS: GPs described mental health as 'part and parcel' of primary care, but disclosed low confidence in dealing with suicide and an unpreparedness to face parents bereaved by suicide. Some GPs described guilt surrounding the suicide, and a reluctance to initiate contact with the bereaved parents. GPs talked of their duty to care for the bereaved patients, but admitted difficulties in knowing what to do, particularly in the perceived absence of other services. GPs reflected on the impact of the suicide on themselves and described a lack of support or supervision. CONCLUSION: GPs need to feel confident and competent to support parents bereaved by suicide. Although this may be facilitated through training initiatives, and accessible services to refer parents to, GPs also require formal support and supervision, particularly around significant events such as suicide. Results from this qualitative study have informed the development of evidence-based suicide bereavement training for health professionals.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: bereavement; family practice; general practice; postvention; primary health care; suicide; supervision; training
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine

Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Primary Care Health Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2016 10:16
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2017 01:30

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