Between moral infraction and existential crisis: Exploring physicians and nurses’ attitudes to suicide and the suicidal patient in Ghana

Osafo, Joseph and Akotia, Charity S. and Boakye, Kofi E. and Dickson, Erica (2018) Between moral infraction and existential crisis: Exploring physicians and nurses’ attitudes to suicide and the suicidal patient in Ghana. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 85. pp. 118-125. ISSN 1873-491X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.05.017

Abstract

Background: Negative attitudes of health professionals toward suicide may hamper their willingness and skills to work with attempt survivors. Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the attitudes of physicians and nurses toward suicide and the suicidal patient. Methods: A semi-structured qualitative interview was conducted on Twenty five (25) health professionals: (15 physicians and 10 casualty nurses) from five hospitals in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Results: Findings showed that while majority of physicians viewed suicide as an existential crisis, most of the nurses viewed it as a moral infraction. Three key attitudes towards suicide and the suicidal patient were observed: stable, dissonant and transitioned. The findings are discussed under three main themes: Contexts, Theorizing suicide, and Shades of attitudes. Conclusion: Nurses and Physicians are key gatekeepers in suicide prevention in Ghana. Training is however, needed to improve both attitudes (especially for nurses) and competence towards suicide prevention in the country.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Moral infraction, Existential crisis, Physcians, Nurses, Suicide, Ghana
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Kofi E Boakye
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2018 14:35
Last Modified: 26 May 2019 01:02
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/703345

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