Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 402–407 | Cite as

Suicide Intervention Skills Among Japanese Medical Residents

  • Daisuke Fujisawa
  • Yuriko Suzuki
  • Takahiro A. Kato
  • Naoki Hashimoto
  • Ryoko Sato
  • Kumi Aoyama-Uehara
  • Maiko Fukasawa
  • Masayuki Tomita
  • Koichiro Watanabe
  • Haruo Kashima
  • Kotaro Otsuka
Original Article



Patient suicide is a tragic occurrence, and it can be a demoralizing experience for medical residents. Few studies, however, have assessed suicide management skills among these front-line healthcare professionals. This study evaluated the self-assessed competence and confidence of medical residents with regard to the management of potentially suicidal patients and assessed the correlation with the residents’ background characteristics.


The authors conducted a multicenter, cross-sectional survey of 114 medical residents in Japan, using a modified version of the Suicide Intervention Response Inventory (SIRI—22), the Medical Outcomes Study 8-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF28), and a 5-point Likert scale to assess confidence in suicide management.


A majority (89.5%) of the residents rated their confidence in managing suicidal patients as Not At All Confident or Rather Not Confident, although most were close to completing their psychiatric rotation. Results on the SIRI—22 suggested intermediate competence in managing suicidal behavior, as compared with that of other healthcare professionals. Competence as indicated by the SIRI—22 score was weakly and negatively correlated with the score for self-perceived Vitality on the SF—8 scale.


Insufficient skills and lack of confidence in the management of suicidal patients was observed in this sample of Japanese medical residents, thus highlighting the need for improved suicide-management programs for junior medical residents in Japanese hospitals.


Academic Psychiatry Suicide Prevention Medical Resident Suicidal Patient Acad Psychiatry 
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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daisuke Fujisawa
    • 1
    • 6
  • Yuriko Suzuki
    • 2
  • Takahiro A. Kato
    • 3
  • Naoki Hashimoto
    • 4
  • Ryoko Sato
    • 5
  • Kumi Aoyama-Uehara
    • 5
  • Maiko Fukasawa
    • 2
  • Masayuki Tomita
    • 6
  • Koichiro Watanabe
    • 6
    • 7
  • Haruo Kashima
    • 6
    • 8
  • Kotaro Otsuka
    • 9
  1. 1.Psycho-oncology DivisionNational Cancer Center EastChibaJapan
  2. 2.National Institute of Mental HealthTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Dept. of Neuropsychiatry, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  4. 4.Dept. of Psychiatry, Graduate School of MedicineHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  5. 5.Dept. of Psychiatry/Child PsychiatryYokohama City UniversityYokohamaJapan
  6. 6.Dept. of NeuropsychiatryKeio University School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  7. 7.Dept. of NeuropsychiatryKyorin University School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  8. 8.Dept. of Speech and Hearing SciencesInternational University of Health and WelfareJapan
  9. 9.Dept. of Neuropsychiatry/Disaster and Community PsychiatryIwate Medical UniversityIwateJapan

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