Survey of Australian and Canadian Community Pharmacists’ Experiences With Patients at Risk of Suicide
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OBJECTIVE: The study's objective was to examine Canadian and Australian community pharmacists' experiences with people at risk of suicide. METHODS: A survey was developed and administered online. Countries were compared by Fisher's exact and t tests. Multivariable logistic-regression analysis was used to identify variables associated with preparedness to help someone in a suicidal crisis. RESULTS: The survey was completed by 235 Canadian and 161 Australian pharmacists. Most (85%) interacted with someone at risk of suicide at least once, and 66% experienced voluntary patient disclosure of suicidal thoughts. More Australians than Canadians had mental health crisis training (p<0.001). Preparedness to help in a suicidal crisis was negatively associated with being Canadian, having a patient who died by suicide, lacking training and confidence, and permissive attitudes toward suicide. CONCLUSIONS: Several perceived barriers impede pharmacists' abilities to help patients who voluntarily disclose suicidal thoughts. Gatekeeper and related suicide prevention strategy training for community pharmacists is warranted.
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