Background: Suicide is currently listed among the leading causes of death, accounts for approximately 1.4% of all mortalities, and remains one of the preventable causes of death and disability. Annually, more than 800,000 people die due to suicide along with a even more higher number of suicide attempts. Stigmatizing attitudes toward suicide still prevail, contributing to a chain of negative consequences for survivors and their families.
Aims and objectives: This review explores the extent of suicide literacy and the factors influencing the suicide literacy among the HCPs, as well as attitudes of HCPs regarding suicidal behavior. In addition, the review also evaluates whether there is an association between HCP's suicide literacy and their attitudes toward suicidal behavior.
Materials and methods: Literature search was done with keywords “literacy of suicide” and “attitudes toward suicide in healthcare professionals” from the year 1981 to 2020, and the search was conducted on the following platforms—PubMed Central, Google Scholar, and ProQuest. The research was conducted from 2018 to 2019. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, out of 80 articles, only 40 articles were selected, out of which majority were original articles, some were meta-analysis, and few were review articles.
Results: Studies have shown different attitudes and suicide literacy in HCPs, some showed positive attitude, and some showed negative attitude regarding suicide. Some studies showed high suicide literacy, and few showed low suicide literacy in HCPs.
Limitations: Family history and personal history of suicide were not studied. Career variables of HCPs were not studied. Interdepartmental differences were not studied.
Conclusion: This review indicates that suicide is a global problem and shows that both suicide literacy and attitude of HCPs toward suicide affect the approach, care, and treatment of patients with suicide-related behavior. Also, within HCPs, there is variation in terms of suicide literacy and attitude toward suicide, which in turn is influenced by several sociodemographic variables and clinical exposure variables. It is also evident from the reviews that suicide is a preventable condition. The reviews clearly indicate a definite scarcity of data on literacy of suicide in our region, highlighting the need for further research in this area.
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