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IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 304: Knowledge, Self-Confidence and Attitudes towards Suicidal Patients at Emergency and Psychiatric Departments: A Randomised Controlled Trial of the Effects of an Educational Poster Campaign

14 Mar 2017

Educational posters are used to enhance knowledge, attitudes and self-confidence of patients. Little is known on their effectiveness for educating health care professionals. As these professionals may play an important role in suicide prevention, the effects of a poster and accompanying evaluation and triage guide on knowledge, self-confidence and attitudes regarding suicidal thoughts and behaviours, were studied in a multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial, involving staff from 39 emergency and 38 psychiatric departments throughout Flanders (n = 1171). Structured self-report questionnaires assessed the knowledge, confidence and beliefs regarding suicidal behaviour management, and attitudes. Data were analysed through a Solomon four-group design, with random assignment to the different conditions. Baseline scores for knowledge and provider confidence were high. The poster and accompanying evaluation and triage guide did not have an effect on knowledge about suicide and self-confidence in suicidal behaviour management. However, the poster campaign appeared to be beneficial for attitudes towards suicidal patients, but only among staff from mental health departments that were assigned to the un-pretested condition. Given the limited effects of the poster campaign in the studied population with a relatively high baseline knowledge, the evaluation of this poster as part of a multimodal educational programme in a more heterogeneous sample of health care professionals is recommended.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health