ERIC Number: ED335600
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
The Stress of Patient Suicide during Training: Preliminary Findings.
Kleespies, Phillip M.
An earlier study found that psychology interns who experienced patient suicides reported stress levels on the Impact of Event Scale higher than those found with professional clinicians who had patient suicides. The present study is a replication of the earlier study but with a much larger sample and an attempt to assess a broader spectrum of suicidal behaviors (i.e., suicide completions, suicide attempts, and suicide ideation). Subjects were 92 male and 160 female pre-doctoral interns in clinical psychology from nine internship sites. Those subjects who had experienced a patient suicide completion, a patient suicide attempt, or a patient suicide ideation completed the Impact of Event Scale. Thirty-one subjects reported having had a patient who actually committed suicide, 73 reported having had a patient who made a suicide attempt, and 140 reported having had at least one patient who had suicidal ideation. Preliminary findings suggest that one in eight psychology graduate students experienced a patient suicide while more than one in four experienced a patient suicide attempt. As in the earlier study, the level of reported stress for those who had a patient suicide seemed to be greater for trainees than the level reported for professional clinicians in other studies. The next phase of the research will assess what helped or might have helped trainees to cope with these stresses of clinical training. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Suicidology (24th, Boston, MA, April 17-21, 1991).