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Why Men Won't Mention Suicidal Thoughts to Their Doctor

By Robert Preidt

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Men may avoid talking with doctors about suicidal thoughts because they fear psychiatric hospitalization, researchers say.

In the United States, men are more than three times as likely to kill themselves as women. Moreover, nearly half of all adults who take their own lives have seen a primary care provider within the month before their deaths, according to the researchers.

"Those statistics led us to ask, 'Is there something primary care providers might be able to do or say in office visits with men to change that outcome?'" said study leader Dr. Anthony Jerant. He chairs family and community medicine at University of California, Davis Health.

Jerant and his colleagues developed a multimedia program designed to encourage men to open up to their primary care providers about suicidal thoughts. They hope to get the program -- called Men and Providers Preventing Suicide (MAPS) -- into doctors' office waiting areas.

For the new study, the investigators had the program evaluated by dozens of suicide survivors, prevention advocates, and family members of those who attempted or died by suicide.

Some participants wanted assurance that primary care providers are prepared to respond to patients who talk about suicide. There was also a strong fear that disclosing such thoughts to a doctor always results in immediate hospitalization.

But that's not necessarily true.

"Our overall goal is to initiate comfortable conversations with men about mental health and its treatment in outpatient primary care settings," Jerant said in a UC Davis news release. "Fear of hospitalization wasn't really on our radar," he said, noting that interviews like those in the study can help shape the development of suicide-prevention interventions.

As a result of the interviews, the researchers added a video clip to their program that outlines treatment options and clarifies that hospitalization is often not necessary.

The MAPS study appears in the journal Patient Education and Counseling.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more on suicide prevention.

SOURCE: University of California, Davis Health, news release, March 11, 2019

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=743760

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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