Suicidal thoughts and behaviours among student nurses and midwives: A systematic review
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Groves S, Lascelles K, Hawton K. Suicidal thoughts and behaviours among student nurses and midwives: A systematic review. J Adv Nurs. 2023 Nov 27. doi: 10.1111/jan.15982. Epub ahead of print
Aim: To synthesize research investigating suicide, suicide attempts, self-harm and suicide ideation in nursing and midwifery students, a group of interest due to high rates of suicide among qualified nurses. Specific areas of interest for this review included prevalence, factors which may contribute to or mitigate risk and suicide prevention interventions. Design: A systematic review was conducted, and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines were followed. Data sources: Three electronic databases were searched, and additional articles identified using hand-searching. Studies were included if they examined suicide, suicide attempts, self-harm or suicide ideation in nursing or midwifery students. Review methods: Studies were deduplicated and assessed for inclusion. Data from included studies were extracted, quality of studies assessed and data synthesized, informed by study focus, design and assessed quality. Results: About 46 studies of largely moderate to low quality were identified. A high-quality study demonstrated increased risk of suicide in Swedish female nursing students, and increased risk of self-harm in nursing students of both sexes. Prevalence of suicide ideation did not appear to differ across course year, or between nursing students and students on other programmes. Psychiatric conditions, particularly depression, were associated with suicide ideation. Three studies related to suicide prevention interventions were identified. Integration of wellness initiatives into the curriculum and peer support were preferred interventions among nursing students and teaching staff. Conclusions: To understand the extent of suicide and self-harm among nursing and midwifery students there is a need for further epidemiological research stratified by programme of study. To develop prevention interventions and initiatives for nursing students, high-quality longitudinal studies should examine characteristics associated with suicide and self-harm.
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