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Abstract

The objective of this study was to identify health care-related factors associated with death by suicide in psychiatric patients and to gain insight into clinician views on how to deal with suicidality. The study material derived from a clinician committee in a psychiatric department reviewing every outpatient and inpatient suicide in a standardized way. Reports’ conclusions and corresponding plenary discussion minutes regarding 94 suicides were analyzed using inductive thematic content analysis. Health care-related factors were categorized into 4 themes: patient evaluation, patient management, clinician training, and involvement of relevant non-clinical partners. Clinician views on the themes were expressed through statements (i) promoting or restricting an aspect of care (here called recommendations), which mainly followed existing guidelines and were consensual and (ii) without precise indication (here called comments), which departed from mainstream opinions or addressed topics not covered by existing policy. Involvement of non-clinical partners emerged as a new key issue for suicide prevention in psychiatric departments and should be openly discussed with patients. Clinicians preferred balanced conclusions when they reviewed suicide cases.

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