Attitudes of doctors and medical students toward patients with suicidal ideation

Lazslo Antonio Avila, Gabriela do Prado Rocha, Gerardo Maria de Araújo Filho


Considering suicide is a public health problem, this study identified misconceptions about patients at risk of suicide as well as strategies to manage patients and their families, also verifying changes in conceptions and attitudes throughout graduation. We applied a questionnaire with five categories: “medical confidentiality,” “deontology,” “medical negligence,” “graduation,” and “myths and conceptions”. One hundred and twenty-six subjects participated in the research: 45 (35.7%) first-year medical students, 48 (38.1%) interns, and 33 (26.2%) doctors. The variables were analyzed, and the difference between groups was significant for 15 questions (62.5%). In one question (myths and conceptions) the answers were distant from the expected, and in two questions (myths and conceptions, deontology) the result did not give adequate information. We observed improvements at medical graduation for most of the studied aspects; among the deficiencies, we highlight those related to compulsory notification, electroconvulsive therapy, and the responsibility of doctors.


Suicide. Ethics. Malpractice. Education-Medicine.

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