Confidence of primary care physicians in assessing the suicidality of geriatric patients
Publication Date: July 2001
Publisher(s): International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Special Collection: The Joyce Foundation
Keywords: suicide; physicians older adults; Illinois
Coverage: United States
This study presents the results of a survey of physicians in Illinois that examined their confidence levels in assessing the risk of suicide among older adults in clinical settings. The survey inquired about specific assessment and treatment approaches, referral resources used, barriers to meeting the mental health needs of older patients, and sources of training in suicide risk assessment.
The survey found that more effective mental health care will require specific physician preparation in treating geriatric patients through the full spectrum of medical training, including medical school, residency, and CME courses. Improved prevention of elderly suicide hinges on the enhancement of clinical skills in diagnosing and treating geriatric depression.