Year of Publication

2022

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Debra Hampton

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Gwen Moreland

Committee Member

Dr. Chizimuzo "Zim" Okoli

Abstract

Background: Nurses, critical to the health care delivery system, experience a variety of psychological stressors that predispose them to suicide risk. Recent studies have verified elevated suicide risks in nurses when compared to the general population. There is limited understanding regarding the effectiveness of various strategies to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors for suicide among nurses.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate if a web-based education module can improve the knowledge, attitudes, and ratings of willingness to access help related to suicide prevention in behavioral health nurses.

Conceptual Framework: Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior was used to guide this project. The theory of planned behavior suggests that attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control predicts the intention to engage in a behavior, influencing the actual performance of the behavior.

Methodology: This study employed a quasi-experimental one-group pretest-posttest design. One hundred and one registered nurses from an academic medical center inpatient psychiatric unit, a state psychiatric hospital, and a personal care home were invited to participate. Baseline knowledge of suicide risk and prevention, attitudes towards seeking help, subjective norms towards seeking help, perceived behavioral control towards seeking help, and intent to seek help upon experiencing suicidal ideations were obtained prior to and after administering a 25-minute web-based training.

Results: A total of 29 participants completed the pre-survey, web-based education module, and post-survey. There was a statistically significant increase in knowledge, attitude, subjective norms, and intention related to help-seeking behaviors for nurse suicide prevention. Perceived behavioral control median scores increased, but not at a statistically significant level.

Discussion: A web-based educational intervention can be effective in increasing knowledge and intention to seek behavioral health services. Further exploration is needed to determine if other non-web-based strategies, focused on the reduction of nurse suicide, could offer benefits.

Conclusion: Understanding the effectiveness of strategies to reduce nurse suicide can provide insights into building better nurse suicide prevention programs.

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