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The psychological experiences of nurses after inpatient suicide: A meta‐synthesis of qualitative research studies

Qinwen Shao, Yanjie Wang, Kunhua Hou, Haiping Zhao, Xianghong Sun
Published: 3 June 2021
Journal of Advanced Nursing ; doi:10.1111/jan.14885

Abstract: Aims To explore nurses’ psychological experiences after inpatient suicide. Design Qualitative studies were meta-synthesized. Data sources Eight databases (PubMed, Web of Science, CINAHL, Embase, Wanfang Data, VIP database, CBM and CNKI) were searched for qualitative studies from each database's inception to 31 August 2020. Review methods Studies were critically appraised using the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Critical Appraisal Checklist for Qualitative Research. Qualitative data were extracted, summarized, and meta-synthesized. Results Eleven studies were included, and five themes were identified: (a) emotional experience, (b) cognitive experience, (c) coping strategies, (d) self-reflection and (e) impact on self and practise. Conclusion Nurses reported various negative emotions after inpatient suicide. Hospital administrators should recognize nurses’ second victim psychological trauma. Moreover, they must develop theory-based education, training and psychological support programmes to promote nurses’ mental health. Hospital patient safety management is also important to ensure patient safety whilst preventing nurses from becoming second victims. Impact Understanding the psychological experiences of nurses who have undergone inpatient suicide will inform future research and practise. Nurses require psychological support after experiencing adverse events. Education and training are necessary to help nurses acquire suicide knowledge, understand the role of the second victim, better cope with adverse events and promote self-growth. Hospitals should strengthen the construction of a safety culture to ensure patient safety.
Keywords: adverse events / inpatient suicide / mental health / meta-synthesis / nurse / psychological experience / psychological support / safety / second victim

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