Home > Suicide amongst anaesthetists - an Association of Anaesthetists survey.

Yentis, SM and Shinde, S and Plunkett, E and Mortimore, A (2019) Suicide amongst anaesthetists - an Association of Anaesthetists survey. Anaesthesia , 74 , (11) , pp. 1365-1373.

URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/a...

Following a 2-3-month period of publicity, anaesthetists were invited to participate in an online survey that was administered by a third party company on behalf of the Association of Anaesthetists and ran between 3 September and 31 October 2018. Anaesthetists working in the UK or Ireland were asked about the presence or absence of welfare/support structures or resources in their workplace in the case of mental illness, addiction and/or suicide. Anaesthetists working anywhere in the world were also asked for their experiences of a colleague's suicide, defined as a colleague's taking his or her own life - whether intentional or not - while practising as an anaesthetist in the UK or Ireland, in the same department and at the same time as the respondent. Respondents were also asked about experiences of other suicides not meeting this definition.

A total of 3638 responses were received. Most respondents were unaware of the existence of policies/guidance on mental illness, addiction or suicide, or of welfare leads, within their Trust or department. A total of 1916 cases of suicide meeting the survey's definition were reported by 1397 respondents, although the actual number of discrete cases is unknown because of likely multiple reporting of the same cases. A third of respondents who reported a suicide had experience of more than one case. Most reports were of suicide in the last 10 years, and most reported cases involved anaesthetic drugs. Deficiencies were noted in the support available and in the way the deaths were handled, although examples of good support were also described. A further 1715 respondents reported suicides that did not meet the primary definition. Overall, 92% of respondents reporting suicide experienced it through work, and 41% outside of work (total > 100% as some reported both). Although unable to provide estimates of suicide rates, or numerical associations between the features of the deaths, this survey highlights the considerable emotional and mental burden of suicide on anaesthetists.

Item Type:Article
Date:November 2019
Page Range:pp. 1365-1373
Subjects:F Concepts in psychology > Specific attitude and behaviour > self-destructive behaviour > suicidal behaviour / suicide
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health related prevention > Health information and education > Suicide prevention
P Demography, epidemiology, and history > Population dynamics > Substance related mortality / death
T Demographic characteristics > Doctor
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
VA Geographic area > Europe > United Kingdom

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