Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 54 Issue 1 (March 1981), Pages 299-391

The attitudes of psychiatrists to deliberate self‐poisoning: Comparison with physicians and nurses (pages 341-348)

The attitudes of junior psychiatrists to deliberate self‐poisoning were assessed on the basis of their answers to a series of questions concerning four case vignettes. They spontaneously indicated goals for the behaviour in only a minority of cases. Emphasis should be placed on identifying instrumental aspects of overdoses during training in the assessment of self‐poisoning patients. The psychiatrists attributed similar reasons for the cases as did physicians and nurses who were previously investigated using the same method. However, compared with the physicians, the psychiatrists showed more sympathetic attitudes to the patients and their behaviour, and a greater willingness to help them. The psychiatrists and nurses were similar in this respect. The findings are discussed in the light of recent innovations in the management of self‐poisoning patients in general hospitals.

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