The Short-Term Efficacy of Suicidal Psycho-Education Intervention for Family Members of Suicidal Out-Patients

Wednesday, 1 August 2012: 8:30 AM

Fan-Ko Sun, RN, PhD
Department of Nursing, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Chun-Ying Chiang, RN, PhD
Department of Nursing, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
Pei-Jane Yu, RN
Department of Health Kaohsiung city Government, Department of Health Kaohsiung city Government, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Ching-Hsing Lin, MSc
Nursing, Tajen University, Pingtung County, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: Learners will get the ability to educate family members to take care of their relatives who are at risk of suicide.

Learning Objective 2: Learners will get the ability to educate suicidal family members to hold more positive attitudes towards suicidal patients.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the short-term (three year after education) efficacy of a suicide care psycho-education intervention for suicidal family’s caregivers.

Methods: A quasi-experimental design using two groups and a pre- and post-intervention survey method was used.  Data were collected in one Suicide Prevention Center and two acute psychiatric hospitals from October 2009 until December 2010.  A sample of family caregivers of suicidal patients (n=98) was randomly divided into an experimental (n=49) and control group (n=49).  All participants were 18 or older and were the primary caregivers who were caring for people who had experienced suicidal ideation for at least two weeks or those who had previously attempted suicide.  The experimental group attended a two-hour personal information session and received an education handbook on caring for suicidal patients.  The control group, however, received routine discharge information.  Three self-designed instruments were administered to the entire sample prior to delivering the suicidal psycho-education handbook and three months after delivering the handbook.  The three instruments were used to determine levels of ability, stress, and attitudes toward caring for suicidal patients in primary caregivers.  Descriptive statistics, a paired t-test, and a Wilcoxon signed ranks test were used to analyze the data.

Results: The results demonstrated statistically significant differences with respect to ‘the suicidal caring ability scale’ and in variables related to ‘utilizing resources’, ‘caring ability’, and ‘treatment’ before and three months after receiving the psycho-education program.  Moreover, the results also indicated statistically significant differences in variables related to ‘holistic care burden’ before and after the program in the control group.

Conclusion: Our data indicate that the experimental group that attended the psycho-education program had an increased ability to take care of their suicidal relatives and displayed positive attitudes concerning treatment for their relatives who had attempted suicide.